“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6)
A priest I knew once said that it was never appropriate to have a clock in the altar: we should keep liturgical time based on the schedule of Heaven.
When it comes to time, we are all deeply infected with the spirit of the world.
Consider the following:
How many times do we expect an immediate response to e-mail?
How quickly do we feel ourselves inconvenienced if we have to stand in line for five minutes – or even one minute – in a store, to purchase something we want, but probably do not truly need?
How impatient do we become when we cannot gain a clear and quick answer to some nagging question, be it personal, spiritual, or otherwise?
And how often do we become frustrated when our prayers are not “answered” – i.e. When we do not get the results we have requested from God – within our own timeline?
Our patience, or lack of it, is an excellent measure of the extent to which we have acquired the heart of the saints, and the timekeeping of heaven. As we begin to acquire this mindset, we will discover many things:
Time for prayers is an investment, not a sacrifice;
The regular cycle of Church services slows us down – in a good way;
All our rushing about (which already leaves us feeling empty) is more easily set aside, in order to allow us to seek out time to read the Scriptures, the Church Fathers, or other spiritual books.
The next time you find yourself in a rush, ask yourself: will all this fuss matter a month from now? Will it matter when I die and stand before Christ?
If the answer is no (and one expects, it probably will be), perhaps it is time to reset our approach to time based on God’s schedule, bit by bit, adjusting our speed, and the priorities in our day.
And – for certain – removing the clocks from our icon corners.