Happy Friday, friends. It is a beautiful fall morning, and I’m sitting in the basement of the library watching a breeze rustle the not-yet-changed leaves outside.
I’m also thinking (shocking!) about the ways that we talk about time. I recognize in myself a deep desire to be able to say that yes, in this time, I want this particular, specific thing. For instance, I want to be able to say what my vocation may call me to in the future, I want to identify this in order to take steps to make that thing happen.
This is the pressure, I think, that our culture puts on us, and for many of us, we respond by internalizing that pressure and placing it on ourselves. If you can identify with this, then you know that it is exhausting to have both inside and outside forces demanding specificity, productivity, and any other number of -ivities that we could name.
This morning’s lectionary reading is from Ecclesiastes 3–that famous proverb that reminds us that
“There’s a season for everything
and a time for every matter under the heavens” (v. 1)
And I wonder what it might mean to acknowledge that while there are specific times for things, for events, for relationships, for futures… there is also time for the process of becoming. What we miss when we talk about time in concrete ways, when I demand change and clarity of myself within a certain timeframe, is that “there’s a season for everything”, and this everything must include a time for becoming–unscheduled and finicky as becoming may be.
To live with this is to live with ambiguity and no small measure of patience, but I wonder if this fluid understanding of time is simply what it means to be at peace.