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Really? 6.25%?

July 16, 2008

Now is the time.” I heard Father Patrick speak those words during a homily over 5 months ago and I knew in an instant, in the blink of an eye, they had been said by the Spirit and I knew I was one to whom they were directed. I don’t mean that Father intentionally spoke those words to me directly that morning, I just knew in the deepest place in my heart that he might as well have.

Last night Father was over to our house to meet with Barb and I for our normal Tuesday night Catechumen sessions. Being that it his first visit to our home, he walked around the living room taking in the various photos we have of family hanging about and remarked how quickly time goes by; “It’s a vapor” Father said. Then sitting down close to me and looking right into my heart he said in the most serious of tones once more “…so now is the time, now is the time!” And just as those words had hit the center of my being some five months earlier, so they did again, and so the question remains: how will I respond this time?

There is no doubt in my mind that I took the first utterance of that phase very seriously. In fact I made some difficult, real changes to several aspects of my life that were completely out of control, and by God’s grace and mercy have seen wonderful, fresh glimpses of the life of Christ being formed in my core. But I also know that God wants to give me so much more of himself. His life laid down for mine so that I might lay down mine and gain His.

Father gave us more then a few recommendations last night regarding some things he suggested we should read and also some things we could do to prepare ourselves for our first confessions as Catechumen. Honestly, at first, I was slightly overwhelmed, internally searching through my regularly scheduled life in search of an extra minute or two in which to add the additional activities. But it was echoing in me: “NOW is the time!”

So this morning I did a quick little estimate of the time I actually have available and the time I intentionally give to God. Presently, not counting those days I spend in worship with the Church, Saturday night and Sunday Morning, I manage to give to God approximately 10 minutes in the morning for prayer and then about 5 minutes at the end of each day in examine of my day before praying Psalm 50 (that’s 51 to all you evangelicals out there) and closing my eyes. Now I’m not saying that I don’t consider or ponder the things of the Spirit at other times, I do, I’m just talking about time I set aside ALMOST everyday. That’s out of a 24 hr period.

Now I can hear some of you saying, yeah but you sleep for 6-8 hours of that. Ok, I’ll give you that, so now I’m down to 15 minutes out of a 16 hr period. I feel way better. Some might argue, wait, surely you can’t count the time you’re at work. We obviously need to work and often our minds are so occupied between the hours of 9-5-well surely I can’t count that time? Ok, I’ll give you that one as well so now I’m down to what I do with my eight remaining waking, non working hours. Wow, now I’m almost off scott-free. In fact I might just be a spiritual giant!

6.25% of my 8 hours are set apart for God. I’m actually surprised that it’s that high, but I did ask my CPA wife and she gave me that number. I’m not trying to beat up on myself or saying that number needs to 10% or 50% or whatever! The number isn’t the important thing, it’s my heart and I’m just saying that I’m hearing the still small voice again, and it’s not in the thunder, the earthquake or the wind. No, it’s meek and soft, almost a whisper; “Now is the time.”

The bottom line is that I make plenty of time for those things I really love; My Macs, my Nikon, my TV shows, my photography books and magazines. God wants to give me so much more, but it seems that I’m already so full of everything else. Lord have mercy on me. Help me to love you at least as much as these other things, at least that would be a start. “Now is the time.”

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