Victor 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
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. ...