Sisters in Scripture
   
What Does It Mean To Live In Deep Time?
10/3/2018 Kathleen MacInnis Kichline

Deep Time - God's TimeVictor Frankl writes, "Between a stimulus and a response, there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.” 

Herein lies our growth and our freedom.  Within that brief millisecond, it is ours to determine the weight we will assign to what we have seen or heard and what impact it will have on us.  It is ours to decide what will be our response.  All in that millisecond. 

Because it carries so much portent, the space that Frankl describes, though brief, must, of necessity, be deep.  Deep time is a concept rarely considered.

A while back, I had a surprise encounter with someone I’d not seen in years.  I was so pleased to see her out and about and looking healthy for I knew she had a chronic disease that would, in fact, number her days.  Inquiring about her family, I was surprised at how much time had passed; her son whom I remembered as a boy, was now going away to college.  She radiated joy in telling me about him and confided, "I know I may not be there to see him someday marry or may never get to hold my grandchildren, but God has given me so much now and has taught me that time does not have to be long if it is deep.”  Her hope, she said, came from 2 Peter 3:8. "Do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.”  She lived with the promise and the expectation of each given day being a thousand years deep. 

What would it mean to live in deep time, in God’s time?  This kind of awareness often comes to us from those whose lives are at risk; Frankl survived Auschwitz and Dachau and Kit lives daily with the knowledge that she is terminally ill.  But what about those of us caught up in the routine of day to day living?  What if we could bring such awareness to bear in our lives, and in that space or millisecond that Frankl describes?

It seems impossible. The span is far too short, that space between stimulus and response.  How can we possibly discern all that seems necessary?  Only by recognizing in this brief space the opportunity for a sacred pause, a place where we can enter deep time, God’s time. 

Here we exist in a subliminal, eternal space where length of time is irrelevant, for Eternity, God, is not bound by time.  Here we may pause ever so briefly and be intentional.  We can choose to align ourselves and our intentions with God’s larger Purpose for ourselves and beyond ourselves.  This space is not about discerning or arriving at understanding—God’s Purpose is beyond all that.  It is about acknowledging there is more here than meets the eye, that "it’s not about me,” that God is afoot in this world and in my life, that I can choose to participate in God’s grace—whatever that is.  Our response, then, is the decision to cooperate in all of the above.

Try this just once today. Ask to be made aware.  Slowly, we can and will become more attentive and pause more often.  Will it change the world?  Not that I can see—yet.  But it can change who we are. 

 If pondering deep time is important to you, you may want to consider the retreat, God’s Gift of Abundant Time. 


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