It seems impossible that we are already coming to September, the beginning of Autumn. It feels to me that Spring and Summer have rolled together, they have flown by. This may not be same for you and this lockdown might have seemed unending. Time itself can be an absolute measure, there is a specific interval of time which calibrates all time. However, our perception of time can vary greatly. When you go to sleep it can feel like a blink of an eye between night and day. On the other hand, if you struggle to go to sleep and stay asleep the night can feel like the longest hours of your life. When you are late no matter how hard you try, you struggle to catch up. You are more likely to get later, as things conspire against you. On the other hand, if you are early waiting around takes ages and time appears to move especially slowly.
It is interesting to imagine how God sees the same time. Two ideas emerge from the bible. Firstly, God is happy to wait for years for things to change and come to fruition. We need to be aware that our idea of time and God’s might be quite different. We are more interested in days and weeks and maybe a year. I am reminded of the forward-thinking of someone planting a tree that will take at least ten to twenty years to develop and maybe fifty to a hundred years to mature. It is often the case, that people will not commit to long term measures because there is no immediate benefit. Secondly, God patiently waits for us to turn towards him. We are not coerced or tricked into a relationship with God. When we think how difficult we find it to wait to be invited to help and offer an opinion, we get some sense of how difficult and painful it is to wait to offer help. This is often compounded by having to watch and let people make mistakes that hurt them and the people around them.
Returning to this period of lockdown and isolation, we are reminded of the importance of patience and waiting. For some, it is easy to motivate and manage this time. For many, it is been a hard and very uncertain time. People have missed out on important life events and missed significant milestones. Looking forward can be very difficult as there is so much uncertainty, a fear of a rise in infection and reintroduction of restrictions.
Although we may be changing seasons in the world around us, the fear and worries of COVID-19 show no sign of changing and disappearing. We are reminded that God waits patiently for us to respond and to ask for help and guidance. We are also reminded to make the most of this time as it will not come around again! It does matter, whether it goes quickly or slowly, use it wisely.
Rev. Martin Wood. The Rectory, Church Lane, Cheriton Bishop EX6 6HY 01647 24119 (Tuesday to Sunday) [email protected]