Here are a few more disjointed thoughts on time that we’ve learned over the years. We couldn’t find a good place to fit them in, but wanted to get them out, nonetheless..
What It Looks Like…
Seeing time differently is a neat idea, but what does it look like practically speaking? In trying to answer that, we want to be careful to point out this is only a description of our experience and not a prescription of a method you can copy. At the beginning of the week, plan with whom you would like to have sacred moments with and how you are going to arrange your time to connect with them. Say you would like to meet your spouse in a sacred moment. What are you going to do each day to look for that moment?
Sunday: Sit down over a glass of wine and tell her you want to connect with her in an sacred way. Perhaps, the two of you can agree to seek each other.
Monday: 7am allow her to sleep in. 8am make breakfast. 8:45 Be sure to embrace her before she leaves for work. 10am Send her a text to let her know you’re thinking about her. 6pm Take one of her evening tasks and do it yourself.
Tuesday: 8am Leave a note in her lunch. 11am Email her an article you’ve been reading.
Wednesday … etc.
You never know when that moment might come or even if it will come, but that’s how you order your time to connect with someone. For some these romantic gestures are uncomfortable, but in many ways, we already spend our time doing them. We check in all the time with our favorite sports team, spend the few moments of our break updating our social media or taking on extra work to take the burden off our bosses. These are all romantic gestures just given to something that can’t respond.
Should we focus on Quantity or Quality Time?
The answer to most either/or questions is “both.” If you want to live in sacred moments, the best you can do it put yourself in a position to experience them and then, wait to see if they happen. In order for date nights, for instance, to have a sacred impact they must be frequent and heartfelt. A couple won’t connect even if they go out all the time unless their attention and affection are turned towards each other. Likewise, if a couple waits for their anniversary each year to spend focused time with each other, their marriage won’t improve. Sacred time works the same way, preparing ourselves to receive them requires the best of our affection given frequently to the person to whom we want to connect.
Almost a habit.
Habits are tricky. There is a tension between creating scared seeking habits, and having those established habits become ordinary. When we are forming new habits, we are completely mindful of what we are doing, we live carefully, but after the habit forms, it can become routine, done without thought, feeling or intention. There is an artful balance between the two that each individual has to discover in each season of life. Repeated sacred moments with someone should become comfortable, reliable, yet never predictable in the scientific sense. When we think we have the routine figured out where we can guarantee ourselves access to the sacred, it will vanish.
Expectation and pressure
One of the easiest ways to tell if we are acting out of our weakness, knowing that we are dependent on others to bring about sacred moments, or from our own strength, trying to manufacture them on our own, is walking the tension between expectation and pressure. When our hearts are open to connecting with people, we are looking for that significant moment, but when we need it to happen at a certain time, in a certain way, we can put pressure on it, and drive away the chance to experience it.
Holidays and such
The liturgical calendar has been helpful for us as we try and align our day by day living to seek Him, who we value most. Advent, in particular, has had a great impact on our family. The church calendar, like every other one, is completely made up and arbitrary. In it, there are sacred seasons built in. We have used these times to calibrate our lives and to ask the difficult questions of our priorities. We find it very easy to get caught up in the busyness of raising kids, working, and living life that we forget to live for what matters. Communion is supposed to work the same way, when we remember Jesus, his life, death and resurrection, we are left with the obvious question, “Am I living as if this were more than a fairy tale?”. This reflection opens up creative possibilities for the sacred to enter.