19/01 2017

A Gift of Time

IMG_0204Something I find myself talking about on an almost daily basis, is the difference between how life appears to be lived and perceived and how it actually is-from my perspective anyway!Life it seems is not 80 plus years of suffering free existence, (not sure where that concept comes from),but a number of days lived in reality and the certainty of our human frailty, one day at a time. A series of days makes up a lifetime. A belief in God does not absent us from times of pain and suffering, but does promise us someone to walk with us through the valleys of this life and beyond.

Through my work in Palliative Care, I realize that the viewpoint I have been given and the place from which I get to observe things is perhaps somewhat strange; but maybe if it’s not mixing too many metaphors, an unusual camera angle can show us something different about what has become too familiar for us to see. There are many situations where we have become so used to our surroundings that we don’t see what is right in front of us. We fail to see the subtleties and nuances of what is happening around us, and may not be aware that we can become blindsided by our own opinions and interpretations.

To quote Richard Rohr, from his book Breathing under Water, a “point of view is only a view from a point” but it is amazing how strongly we all hold on to and defend our views and beliefs. I am aware that I am no stranger to this way of thinking, but maybe the first step to changing some of this is to acknowledge the possibility that I may not be entirely correct, (really!! Steady on!) that I have only a piece of the story and that I may need what others have to help me grow in wisdom and understanding. It is possible for us to walk together in community and relationship and not have to insist on being right. In fact it is highly likely that we never are 100% right about anything….ever. I may be wrong….I need others…..God won’t necessarily take all my pain away or heal all my diseases. Not sure I am liking where this is going!?

So here’s the thing. If I get to live life one day at a time, if today is really the only day that I can influence, how then would that change how I do things and where would I choose to be intentional. If I am not fully certain that I’m going to make it home tonight-It’s not “eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” in a good Gladiator mentality. Maybe it’s more like “tell those you love that you do-often, not just in words but in actions”. As far as it is up to us, to live in harmony with others and prefer them. Give the gift of time to those you care about. Actually Jesus tells us to do these things for those we don’t like and/or aren’t too keen on us-but we have to start somewhere!!

I have a picture frame on my desk at home and at work that says “Wherever you are be all there” actually it sounds easier than it is. I am just returning from a 4 day visit to the UK to celebrate my Dad’s 80th birthday. Lots of miles and hours in an airplane, cars and trains from the west of Canada. However the gift of time is actually perhaps the greatest gift we have to give-and not just the time, but also to be present for these precious people for the time we are giving them. I can say the words ” I love you” maybe all too easily, but what am I actually going to do about it. What a precious 4 days that was.

I want to be better at many things this year. Being a God bearer, giving the gift of time and being present is enough to start with!




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