It has been said that our eschatology (our beliefs about the "end times") directly effects our orthodoxy (our doctrine and practices). The generally accepted eschatological belief, at least in my life's radius, has been that we are short on time, that the "end times" are near, that we are in "the last days", and that that innevitable judgement is soon at hand. It's understandable then that the rest of life might feel a bit rushed as a result. If hellfire and brimstone are just around the corner, then I better get my shit together; right?
Well here's the trouble with that: I don't have my shit together...and that's okay. I don't have everything figured out and sorted. If my mind and heart are a big sandbox full of buried treasures and lurking ant hills that need to be dealt with then this is me sorting through the remnants bit by bit, taking my time to understand what toys are buried beneath the sand and taking my time getting rid of the ants as they are uncovered by all the digging and all the playing.
And here's the great part of that: I don't feel any rush to get my shit together for God, this world or for my own sake...cause I'm okay.
Remember when we were kids and we'd get so totally absorbed in the moments while we played outside? Each family seems to have had their own way of telling the kids it was time to come inside. For me, it was the same signal that was set in place for my mom when she was a kid; it was always when the sun would start to go down and the street light would come on; that was our cue to bring it inside. And for me, I keep looking up from my sandbox to see if it's time to wrap it up and the sun hasn't even begun to set; there are no cues telling me it's time to move on, time to quit playing, time to quit sifting, time to quit digging, time to quit being. I'm not sure if that street light will ever come on.
There's such a rush to have things figured out, to have the answers to all your faith questions, to get over your problems. Such a rush to be healed, to do, to become, to move on, to "get it" and "get there". And I think that's largely in part because we all believe that we have no time. No time? And yet we believe that there is life after this life? No time and yet we are believers in eternity?
A fake book (An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten) in a real book (The Fault In Our Stars by John Green) was "quoted" saying that "pain demands to be felt." Pain demands to be felt. Happiness deserves to be felt. Joy needs to be felt. Love ought to be felt. Peace wants to be felt. And I think you've, we've, been given all the time in the world to feel them because He is the Beginner and Finisher, the Beginning and the End- it all starts and ends with Him and He doesn't end and there was none before Him; He is. So in Him, we've got all the time we need. And this God, He lingers and He waits and He endures and He stays and He is still and He is present. For what are we in such a hurry? For whom? Did He tell you to hurry up? Is your street light on or are you coming inside before it's time, if there is such a thing?
Maybe you don't feel the same way I do, and that's fine. Me? I'm taking my time, I'm moving at a slower pace because I've got time. And if I die, if my street light comes on, and my sandbox is still a box of buried treasure splattered with ant hills then I'm okay with that. I don't want to live and leave finished. Leonardo Da Vinci said, "Art is never finished, only abandoned." Meaning you can always keep adding to and taking from art, it'll never be finished; all you can do is get to a place where it feels right and you are satisfied with what is before you abandoning it to be as it may. And with eternity so deeply and intimately engrained within us, I don't think such beings can ever be finished.
So I'm going to take my time in the sandbox. I'm going to feel all that needs to be felt. I'm going to enjoy what I find and deal with what comes to the surface at the pace of Him Who sets the sun. Join me?