Automatic Pilate

bruce-eric-kaplan-car-passes-road-sign-that-reads-your-own-tedious-thoughts-next-200-miles-new-yorker-cartoon

There are some days when I enjoy I long relaxing shower.

But other days, like this morning, I just want to be dressed and on my way to work.  This shaving and showering and shoe-tying seems like such a waste of my higher brain functions.

Also…

There are some days when I enjoy driving on the open road, listening to audio books.

But other days, like tomorrow, I’ll be driving 3 hours for a 3 hour meeting, and I really want that time back.  It’s dead-time.  Pointless time.

There’s got to be a better way!

Maybe I could invent a device, a sort of an automatic pilot, that would kind of kick in when I’d rather not be present in the moment.  Yes!  When life gets annoying I could engage my automatic pilot and I’d “wake up” a couple hours later refreshed and free from tedium.

Time to scoop the poop in the back yard?  Automatic pilot.

Time to argue about finances?  Automatic pilot.

Time to to make a dozen decisions I don’t really know the answers to?   You guessed it.

“Automatic Pilot (patent pending):  You really can care less!”

I wonder.  How many hours would you zap out of your day with a device like that?

An hour?  Three hours?

I suppose the question is what in your life is tedious enough to make you want to let it pass you by.

Not just tedious moments.  How often would you use your Automatic Pilot to avoid uncomfortable situations?

Remember Pontius Pilate?  When he washed his hands of Jesus’ fate, wasn’t he using that water like a primitive automatic pilot?

“This moment is more than I can bear.  I wash my hands of it.”

To be honest, I think that would be the biggest design flaw in my Automatic Pilate.  Er, pilot. You and I might not be good at discerning the moments to skip, and the moments to put up with.

Want to hear something funny?

I came up with the idea for this devotion in the shower.   The shower I didn’t want to take because I was in a hurry and wished I could skip it.

If I’d had an automatic pilot getting me ready today, I might still be trying to figure out what to write about.

It just goes to show, living on automatic pilot may not be all its cracked up to be.   We’re better off not washing our hands of the tedious or troublesome moments in our lives.

(Even the ones when we’re actually washing our hands).

Instead, we are called to ask God to guide our every steps,

which automatically makes

every moment count.

Have a great week,

Mitch

God-in-the-moment

 

Down To The Second

Something strange happened to me last night.

I walked into the kitchen and looked at the microwave clock.  It said 11:04pm.

But then I noticed the oven clock.  It said 11:00pm.

Curious, I looked at my watch.  It said the time was 10:59pm.

Intrigued, I pulled out my cellphone.  It said it was 11:02.

4 different time pieces.  4 different times.

What in the world was going on?  Had I been sucked into a time vortex?

You know, in the movies, when spies are about to pull off some covert mission?  They stand in a circle and hold out their wrists and synchronize their watches down to the exact second.  I always kind of liked that notion, that time could be so dependable and exact.

But I have all kinds of time-telling devices in my life, and I doubt any of them are perfectly synced with each other.  Is that okay?

I went to the Bible, curious to see what the scriptures say about keeping time.   There are lots and lots of passages referring to the words “time”, “day”, and “hour”, but do you know how many passages mention “minutes” or “seconds”?

None!  None that I could find anyway.

And I suppose that makes sense.   People back then weren’t wearing wristwatches, nor did they have microwave clocks (or microwaves).

The idea of living with such precision–down to the second–would have been quite foreign to them.   And still, they managed to keep important dates, make plans, etc.

Today we have clocks with radio signals so they stay perfectly in time with the “official time”.  And cellphones keep their time through their cell towers.  There are programs and websites you can access offering 100% accuracy when it comes to time.

I suppose that’s kind of cool, but truthfully?

I’ve decided that living in my own little time vortex is kind of nice.   It reminds me that I don’t have to be “on the clock” all the time.  I don’t have to plan my life down to the last second.

There’s give and take in life.  Room to breathe.  A couple minutes of wiggle room here and there keep me from feeling like a prisoner to time.

Time may relentlessly continue to march forward, but I choose to march…

to the beep of my own microwave.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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TIMELESS

timeless-ian-barber

Want to hear something weird?

The next “Weekly Devotion” you get from me will originate from a new location.

Yep, I’m moving to a new church.

This Sunday is my last one here.

*sigh*

Here’s what happens to me every time I have to say goodbye:

I lapse into an unsettled, melancholy awareness of time’s slow destruction of the present.

Let me translate that for you:  I fear change.

I fear change because you can’t go back.

Because it seems so final.

The idea of somehow dis-connecting and moving on seems really painful.

And as excited as I am about the future, I’ve been feeling some of that “melancholy” this week.

. . .

But then yesterday, this happened:

Somebody had the idea that, at my farewell reception next Sunday, we should have a reunion of sorts.

A reunion of the founding members of our contemporary worship service, from back in the 90’s.

The 5 of us have not been all together in the same room for about 15 years.

Those were great days back then.

We were creative and passionate and generated a lot of energy for the church.

And while I’ve stayed in touch with them all (heck I’m married to one of them), we’ve never tried to all reconnect musically.

That is, until yesterday, when we got together to practice.

We’d picked out some of our favorite old songs, and set up on the stage to practice.

We kicked off the first song.

Instinctively, we reverted to our old parts.

And there they were:  The same tight harmonies and chord changes.

It was nearly flawless.

We all just stared at each other, grinning.

It was as if the intervening 15 years had never happened!

. . .

No, that wasn’t it.

The passage of time was clearly present.

There were more lines on our faces.

We’d all been through big life changes since we’d last been together,

but we shared something yesterday that I hope to never forget:

Things are always changing,

but the Love of God,

and the connection of true friends,

and the harmony between kindred spirits,

is TIMELESS.

 

Thank you, First Church Lawrence, for your love and support!

 

Mitch

harmony

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Time

God’s Time…..by Mitch

God are you impatient with me?  I know you’ve got every reason to be.
All those things that I swore I would do.  All those things I never got around to.

And all the while I was shirking my share, all the world was in need of repair.
All I’m asking is a brand new start, I’ll follow the beat of my heart

To God’s time now. God’s time now.
Follow the leader, pick up the beat or fall behind.
In a moment things can change unless you rearrange
your priorities and put them all in line

In line with God’s time.

Now I’m hearing something different.  I could swear you said be patient
When temptation swallows me whole, and when I neglect my soul.

All the dreams that I’ve tried to juggle, all I needed was to give up the struggle.
Before the harvest you plant the seed, the waiting is hard unless you believe in

God’s time now.  God’s time now
What’s in the hurry?  The joy is the journey, so take it slow.
A life fulfilled is found by making every moment count
So count your blessings now and you will find yourself

In God’s time.

So are you patient or impatient, I wish I could understand.
Sometimes it feels like you’re saying hurry up, slow down as fast as you can.

But when I think about it, yes I see some truth in this paradox.
The world would be a marvelous place, if we felt God’s grace,and set our clocks to

God’s time now. God’s time now.
Life unfolds slowly, so we must live boldly what we believe.
And when life on earth is through, time goes on for me and you.
For eternity is waiting right behind
God’s time.

________________________________________

You can listen and download here: http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/artist_songs/536931

Have a great week,

Mitch