On Dusting and Deep Time

I don’t mind vacuuming; laundry is semi-cathartic to me; I will mop when the floor gets sticky. But I detest dusting. In keeping with His unparalleled sense of humor, God saw fit that I would both marry a man who has a dust allergy and move to a state where I swear the dust levels are quadrupled (as compared to the national dust averages, which I am sure is a thing).

In my economy, dusting equals love. I don’t dust because the thin layer of particles bothers me or to save face when my friends come over; I dust because I love my husband. Somehow, in a way that only God can do, dusting has become a tiny act of worship. When I dust, I try to pray and meditate, not because I am holy, but because I truly hate to dust and it keeps my mind off the activity. I also put my tiny helper to work by my side, as he always keeps life a little lighter.

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Dusting is just one arena of life these days in which I am attempting an experiment in living in deep time. I tried it at Cosco the other day (which is an even larger bane to my existence than is dusting), but that was a fail. Maybe I should stick to the small, quiet spaces in my life until I get better at this deep time thing.

Time is a mind-blowing concept that I do not even pretend to understand. I shall leave that to my Physics-minded friends who get continuums and relativity like I get making Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches. That being said, I live in time, and find myself longing to be more fully present in the present. I want to settle into time a little more naturally, the way that a body sinks comfortably into a squishy over-sized arm chair that is older than it.  I want to practice living in deep time.

Time extends much further than our experience of it even in a lifetime. We have our own past, but there is also a deeper past that extends far further than our imagining. In the same way, we have a future, but there is a also a deep future that extends far beyond our ability to comprehend.

Just like a tight rope walker uses a long balancing pole that extends far on either side of him or herself, living in light of deeper time keeps us able to be more fully present. This means little coming from a self-confessed time-idiot, but much more coming from the One who dreamed up time and then proceeded to wind it up.

Speaking through Paul’s letter to Titus, God shows us how this deep time holds us in the present.

For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for our blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:11-14. 

For the grace of God has appeared. Past tense. Deep past. Christ, the God-man, came to earth, the invisible and ethereal became visible and tangible.

That grace of God is currently instructing us, enabling us to live sensible, joy-filled, godly lives now. As in, today in Fall of 2015. He wants our lives to be marked by a zeal, a passion for good deeds. Present tense. Fully alive right now.

Looking for our blessed hope and His appearing. Future tense. Deep future. The only way we will be able to live in such a way is to know and believe and count on the future hope that He guarantees is coming. When no one notices our good deeds or our deepest hopes and longings aren’t met in the present, the only way to press on in the life He has called us to is to live in light of the long-range future.

The Christian life is only possible when we live in deep time; we are able to walk confidently, sure-footedly on the tight-rope that is the present only when we have a long balancing stick that keeps us in touch with the deep past and the deep future.

We can dust or Cosco or marry and parent or work and serve in ways that honor God only when we keep in heart and mind the life, death and resurrection of Christ on one end and the coming hope of His returning and making all things new.

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