“There remains one single duty. It is to keep one’s gaze fixed on the master one has chosen and to be constantly listening so as to understand and hear and immediately obey His will.”
–Jean-Pierre de Caussade from The Sacrament of the Present Moment
Our daughter Zayra turns eight years old today.
It’s funny how people always use the old cliche, “It goes by so fast doesn’t it?” I’ve shared this with some of you before, but I always want to answer, “Well, no. Not if you’re paying attention.” For me, it’s not gone by very fast at all. In fact, we’ve been teasing Zayra lately that she has been seven for like three years now! I can’t believe our girls are only eight and nine.
Much of this I chalk up to being introduced to Brother Lawrence about 15 years ago, and making a concerted effort to live more in the moment. To pay attention to NOW. The more present you are, the more you appreciate at a given moment in time. It does not have to fly by. And anyone can do this in any situation, some situations may just require more work than others. It also helps that children start planning their birthday party approximately four months in advance, bringing it up every single hour of every single day of those four months.
From what I have studied, there are three ways to slow down time:
- Travel close to the speed of light. Albert Einstein found that the closer you approach the speed of light, the more time actually slows down. The problem here is that light travels about 670 million miles per hour, and the fastest thing I know of that humans have constructed is a satellite/telescope thing that goes about 34,000 miles per hour. So we have a ways to go on that one.
- You could stand on the edge of a black hole. This edge is called the “Event Horizon.” This would definitely slow time down, maybe more than you’d like. For every minute you stand near the event horizon of the black hole Sagittarius A, a thousand years goes by on earth! (It has to do with the fact that gravity trumps time, but that’s not important right now.) Again, from what I understand, we cannot stand on the edge of black holes yet. Anyway, I’m not sure you’d want to slow time down there, as there’s probably not much to do, and I’m guessing it would get pretty darn lonely.
- Practice the Presence of God. This one, by far, makes the most sense. No rocket ship required. Simply live in the present moment, aware of God with you, paying attention to the fact of His love and care for you in it, as well as all the beauty He offers within each moment. I like to call this the “Marian Moment Mindset” as each moment, like Mother Mary, is impregnated by the Holy Spirt, birthing God. Will we pay attention to the delivery?
Talk about time slowing down. At my kitchen window, I was standing on the event horizon. There are no words that come close to doing justice to the joy of that moment. So I will choose simply to cherish it forever.
I believe we can live all of life in this kind of attentive appreciation.
In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria