Monday, August 29, 2011

Living in real time

Today I'm deciding if I graduate in April of 2012 or 2013.

Actually, I'm setting in place the pieces that would help me decide, so I'm not engulfed by details one way or the other In October when graduation requests are due. Emily's blog has given me reassurance for riding the surge of normalcy I have been feeling. "Go for it, with freedom that comes from seeking God," she calls to us all.

In the thick of last winter and spring, depressed, overwhelmed, sick from grey skies, drizzle, and cool dampness, I couldn't focus on studies. When I looked at research, I swam through a fog where none of it made sense or stuck in my head, flailing in a churning tide where ideas refused to fall into written data. The resistance was so great, both inside and outside, that I put off the decision about graduation. It was a great relief to say, "Maybe, we'll see," rather than, "I plan to be done in 2012."

It's time to plan as though the future is more open than I thought last winter. I have to harness the good and energy for the year ahead during these days of physical light, when summer's given us a warm week of sunshine, when my body feels alert and coming back to life, when possibility again seems possible...

Yeah, I have SADs, like my grandma did. She told us every February that this was her last year, that she was sure to be dying soon... every February for over 20 years. This winter, I'm putting the SADs light on a 6 hour timer from October through June. My body has to pretend it's nice out, though my mind knows Seattle will close in like every year with its dark cold.

At the end of summer, my office feels like a safe lively place to work, rather than like an obligation to sit myself down for another day of failure. In the logic of yesterday's sunshine, I can think about where to stay when I do research in Missouri, which advisers to meet in October, and which books to re-read while my head is clear.

We only have the choice to live today. This hour. This minute. I'm not thinking of time as a clock, though the West couches time as a pace through the the hours.

I'm thinking of time and timelessness, the flow of eternity, into our lifetimes, and beyond again. There's no crisis about encountering a segment of time. Eventually, God's timelessness embraces us after death. Real time means walking life through with prayerful best intentions, good information, and one foot in front of the other in the world and our interior life. The minute or hour may include intense concentration, relaxed solitude, scheduling the future, or planning a project.

But this time, this real time, is all God gives us. Now. One minute, one hour, one day... after another until our days are done.

I don't know what challenges face you today. Your issues - joyful or dreaded - may be with health, finances, relationships, or other things.

Today I know that whether or not 2012 turns out to be my year for graduation or slogging through more pages, God is faithful. I'm still alive, the sun has shone in Seattle for a whole week of warm weather, and the future rests firmly in his hands. Let's commit everything to him, to see what he will be for us, and what He will do in and around us.

Thanks be to God.

Read more:
*But Moses pleaded with the LORD, "O Lord, I'm not very good with words. I never have been, and I'm not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled."

Then the L
ORD asked Moses, "Who makes a person's mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD?Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say."

But Moses again pleaded, "Lord, please! Send anyone else."
Then the LORD became angry with Moses. "All right," he said. "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. And take your shepherd's staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you."

Before Moses left Midian, the Lord said to him, "Return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you have died." So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God.

And the LORD told Moses, "When you arrive back in Egypt, go to Pharaoh and perform all the miracles I have empowered you to do. But I will harden his heart so he will refuse to let the people go." Exodus 4:10–21 NLT

*Now the Lord had said to Aaron, "Go out into the wilderness to meet Moses." So Aaron went and met Moses at the mountain of God, and he embraced him. Moses then told Aaron everything the Lord had commanded him to say. And he told him about the miraculous signs the Lord had commanded him to perform." Exodus 4:27–28 NLT

*Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV

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