“There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Keeping tight schedules, constant awareness of time, books/tapes/videos on time management are all a product of recent times. The image chosen for today is a beautiful town clock in Capri. We saw many town clocks in little European towns and appreciated them for their architectural beauty. But their role in earlier times was critical-there were very few if any clocks in homes, no one wore a watch and time management was not a concept worthy of commercial enterprise. The town clock kept everyone on task-reminded them when shops were open and reminded you when you should be hungry. Before there was a town clock, before we started operating machinery instead of farms, that lucky old sun that appeared to have nothin‘ to do but roll around Heaven all day, really was on the job. The rising and setting of the sun dictated the rhythm of life for centuries.
Well, we will have none of that, thank you very much. We will ignore the patterns and rhythms of morning and night and keep the world, our work, our stores and, unfortunately, our minds running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Dr. Matthew Sleeth, a former emergency room physician, challenges the wisdom of being able to buy anything, do anything, find out anything 24/7. He compares the Hebrews slavery in Egypt to our being slaves to just that lifestyle. His convictions propelled him to write a book, “24/6: Prescriptions for a Healthier, Happier Life.” He observes that our 24/7 life has produced an anxious unhappy nation of obese, short-lived citizens.
Dr. Sleeth cites the influence of the 4th commandment (remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy) permeating ancient culture-Josephus, a historian who lived from 37-100 AD, observed that there was no city from Grecians to barbarians “nor any nation whatsoever” where the observance of the Sabbath did not come. His call to rest on the 7th day is a gentle one-entreating us to step back into the God’s ancient rhythm of rest and renewal. I have learned of late that nurturing my soul is one of the most important, yet least prioritized, things I can do with the time I have been given. I have even gone so far as to say to myself-does this nourish my soul?-when faced with how I will manage my time. So, I was an eager student when introduced to the concept of 27/6 living.
I hope Sunday is a day of rest for you today. No matter how or where you worship, I hope you find time to breathe deeply, sit quietly and listen intently to the whisperings of your soul. It’s about time…