Blessed in Time

Today is Monday, the twenty-first of March, 2022, in the third week of Lent.
May the peace of Christ be upon you today.

Day 23,384

I missed that yesterday was the Vernal Equinox, or the first day of Spring, in which both daylight and dark were exactly equal. From this point until the Summer Solstice, which will be Tuesday, June twenty-first, the days will grow longer.

Yesterday was a pretty lazy day around here. C and Mama rested a bit, since they worked really hard on Saturday.

Today, I have a doctor appointment at 10:00, for my yearly checkup. I haven’t been since last February, because of various life circumstances, the most major being that I retired right at the end of July. I was supposed to go see them in August, but I wasn’t sure what my health insurance was going to look like, or what my weeks would look like, as I was still looking for a part-time job to supplement my SS. So here I am, in March, finally going back.

I originally had an appointment scheduled for two weeks ago, March seventh, but canceled postponed that one because a plumber was supposed to come to the house that same morning. And I got a call last week to tell me that the PA that I had scheduled with would be out today, so I’m now scheduled to see a NP (Nurse Practitioner). The downside of this appointment is that I have gained at least forty pounds since last November. Oh, well. “It is what it is,” as “they” say. Whoever “they” is.

I do plan to get back on track, though, and perhaps “facing the music” in today’s checkup will be the impetus for that.

Tomorrow, we take S to a doctor for evaluation as to her disability status for the SSA. And then, on Wednesday, it’s back to Mineral Wells to pick up Mama’s cable box and Internet modem so we can send them back to Suddenlink. C and her successfully got that service canceled yesterday. One more thing marked off the list.


"O Lord,
you have mercy on all.
Take away my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of your Holy Spirit.
Take away my heart of stone
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore you,
a heart to delight in you,
to follow and to enjoy you, for Christ’s sake.
(Prayer for A Renewed Heart, St. Ambrose)

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
(Romans 15:7 NIV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for my health; I have some issues, but for the most part, I am quite healthy
2. for God's provision in the life of my family, and our willingness to share His generosity with others
3. for my "lucky" (or "blessed") life
4. for today, this moment, which is truly all I have
5. for the community of saints, as we share in each other's blessings and burdens, and as we care for one another

Today’s prayer word is “time.” This is a good one. Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” It seems to be verifiable that she said this, but even if it wasn’t her, it’s still a good thought.

Time is relative. We are familiar with the phrase, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” A half hour with a good friend will go much faster, in your mind, than, say, a half hour with your hand on a hot stove. Ultimately, thirty minutes is thirty minutes, but perception is everything. The days and years really are not going by faster than they did when I was ten years old, but they seem to be.

Chicago famously said, “Does anybody really know what time it is?” Well, yes. Maybe. Unless it’s Daylight Saving Time, or it’s not, or we’re in a different time zone than we are used to. Greenwich Mean Time has been established as the standard, so someone knows what time it really is. It’s 1:25 PM. Unless you use military time, then it’s 1325. But for me, it’s 8:25 AM, because I’m six hours behind the standard.

In a conversation with John Ortberg about spiritual health, Dallas Willard told him that he needed to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” That is one of my favorite Willardisms. If you hurry, it means your concentration is on the time, you are watching the clock. Ironically, there are two reasons for watching the clock. One is if you are in a hurry, and you are checking constantly to see how much time you have left before you need to be somewhere or do something or finish something. The other is if you are waiting for someone or something, and they are running late. In the first case, time seems to go faster; in the second, it seems to crawl.

But, in reality, it is all going at the same, constant speed, one second at a time. Which is, by the way, how we got so old. One second at a time.

Regret looks back and worries about past decisions. But “Yesterday is gone.” Worry and anxiety fret over things that haven’t happened yet. But “Tomorrow has not yet come,” and those things may or may not even happen.

“We have only today.” We have only this moment. The only “time” that truly exists is this moment. Everything else is speculative.

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
(Romans 15:7 NIV)

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
(Galatians 6:2 NIV)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
(Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)

These verses speak volumes to us. The world would look vastly different if we could manage to obey them.

Eugene Peterson’s reading today, in On Living Well, is short. It is called “The Good Life.” It features a word that I often try to avoid using, but based on the footnote, can more easily accept.

“Christians launch daily into lucky lives – lives of amazing grace, surprised by joy, where they count blessings. They are not easy lives. They are not cozy lives. Christians go to work exploring and experiencing all the details of new life that Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection pour into them through the Holy Spirit. They are not explained lives, making neat or perfect sense, but they are good lives, robust with a goodness the Christians did not earn. Lucky.”

You might have guessed the word. “Lucky.” You see, I do not believe in “luck,” being defined as random chance. However, the footnote says that the context of Peterson’s word, “lucky,” comes from the Greek word, makarios, which has more of a meaning of “blessed” or “happy.” In fact, “makarios” is the very word used at the beginning of each of the Beatitudes. “Blessed.”

And indeed, my life is blessed, or, as Peterson would call it, “lucky.” it is not easy, it is not always cozy. It is seldom neat, nor does it always make sense. But it is blessed.

Father, I thank You for today, for this moment. Help me to make the most of each moment, realizing that it is really all I have, all that I can call “now.” Help me to, as Michael Card, once said, “know You in the now.” Ease my mind from worry or anxiety about the future, as it has not yet happened, and worry steals moments from today. Help me to not have regrets over the past, as it is gone, already happened, and cannot be changed, so that also steals moments from today. Help me to, rather, celebrate this day.

Thank You for my brothers and sisters in Christ, all over the world. I pray for more sense of unity withing the Church, and that we would be more accepting of one another, as we experience differences in opinions of matters that may actually not be that important. Help us to realize that the one thing that truly matters is our walk with Christ and our love for You and our love for one another. Also help us to bear one another’s burdens, as well as sharing in one another’s victories.

Thank You for my blessed life, my “lucky” life. Truly I count myself blessed beyond my wildest imaginations. Thank You, Lord.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 15:5-6 NIV)

Grace and peace, friends.