July 28, 2019

Dear Wellspring family and friends,

This Friday I had the exciting and enviable task of getting my driver’s license renewed! I was all set to wait, no matter how long it might take. My phone was fully charged, as was my computer. As I drove, I mentally checked off the items I needed—folding chair; check! Required documents, check! Water bottle, check! I had just arrived at Kapalama Hale, our nearest DMV, ready to wait in line, when the phone call came.

The phone connection wasn’t great, but the words were unmistakable. “…Think she’s passing soon…caregiver said it was a rough night… the chaplain’s not available right now… can you come see her?”

Of course, the answer was yes. And suddenly the early morning was filled with a different kind of waiting as loved ones gathered around the bedside, waiting for others to arrive, waiting for each breath, as if time itself was slowing down, suspended, and yet somehow, still moving too quickly. For those of you who’ve waited next to loved ones in hospice or in the hospital in those days and then moments as they took their last breaths, you know this kind of waiting. It’s sacred, holy.

You see, time is an odd thing. We want more of it when it seems to be slipping away from us, want it to move as slow as possible, freeze it, even! Sometimes we want exactly the opposite— we want time to pass more quickly, like when we’re waiting in line, or undergoing a long day at work, or having an argument with a friend or spouse. When I’m working on a project that seems to stretch on and on, I’d like nothing better than to skip to the end!

Today, as we seek to move Closer to Christ within our own self and with each other, Pastor Cheryl is discussing the practice of Sabbath. In Genesis 2 as God creates and then rests, God designates the seventh day —time itself— as holy. Ultimately, time is a gift, God’s gift to us. It’s the place where God meets us, and where we are called to meet with each other in life-giving ways.

As I reflect on time, I’m filled with so much thankfulness for this time, now, with you. I’m thankful for the relationships that are growing in our community, for the ways I’m getting to know you and your stories. I’m thankful for the deep stirrings of God in our hearts as we seek to be the Christ-shaped community that responds in healthy and holistic ways to God’s work and to each other. This is precious. I don’t take this for granted. I’m thankful for every moment.

For those of you that are wondering, I did get my driver’s license renewed. I was able to get back to the DMV later in the day and walked out before the sun set with that freshly printed slip of paper in hand, legally enabling me to spend time on the road. Looking back, I’m incredibly thankful I didn’t skip those special early morning hours with my friend’s family. Time is precious. We don’t get time like that back.

How about you? When does God “interrupt” your plans to beckon you toward spending meaningful time with others, your own self, or with God? The practice of Sabbath opens us up to experience God’s presence, often through other people. That will aways be time well spent!

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