How little I knew about the timeliness of this topic when the thought occurred to me! I have noticed that so many of our “systems” that we depend on seem to be running on the rims of their wheels, or even falling off their tracks–the post office, the businesses that have closed, the happenings that are not happening, and the short tempers and frustration that is right at the service of nearly everyone!
This week I lived into this confusion, as in one hospital stay for my husband, we experienced orders that failed to be given, wrong instruments prepared for surgery, hence a 2 hour delay, and flowers undelivered! Meanwhile, the world continues to unravel–politically, rhetorically, hopelessly! I feel so often that there are so few things I can do about any of it, so how do I live in the mega-chaos, the mini-derailments and the in-betweens of not knowing?
Two things have emerged for me in my musings. First, I need to accept that the warp speed with which I am familiar, for myself and for the world, is no-operative these days: Everything is Slower Now! Nothing goes as quickly as it once did, save for the spread of the pandemic and natural disasters! I must continue to learn to re-calibrate my expectations for the speed at which I can do things, and the speed at which the systems I inhabit are able to respond and function. Slowly, slowly, slowly! Lente, lente, lente! Slow me down, O Holy One! Let the words of Ecclesiastes sink into my bones as well as my mind and heart: For everything there is a season…And what a season this is! A time to heal? a time to weep? a time to search? a time to throw away? Teach me how to discern what time it is at such a snail’s pace.
It Is Six Weeks Later:
See, things move much more slowly! And things do come undone, fall apart, and take more time than I expected! And maybe what my learning here is that I need to change my expectations of what a day, and hour need to look like! This is the day that the Holy has made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it! Not glad for it necessarily, but in it. Tonight we celebrated Thanksgiving according to Plan D: no spatchcock barbecued turkey at the correct social distance in my daughter’s back yard; no drive through the In’N’Out; no home-cooked small meal for the two of us, but a lovely takeout dinner from a local restaurant less than a mile away. And beloved ones who are very ill or recuperating, and other dear ones facing surgery this week, and the Cods-19 virus still spiking, and businesses that I have loved or counted on going out of business. And so we were Grateful for what was; Brother David Steindl-Rast says that we need to “Bless what is for being!” And that is where my expectations need to be focused: on being grateful for the place and condition in which I find myself–no denying that there are crossed wires and loose ends, but finding how Grace appears, or even, as my grandson so aptly says, the silver linings, in what is!
Dear Lord, Help me to live right now in this moment of time You have given me. (from Marian Wright Edelman)