Episcopal Diocese of Washington
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Bishop Mariann’s Blog
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Benedict reminds us that life is short, that we don't have time to waste time, that some things are significant in life and some are not. We all have to ask ourselves what time it is in our lives.
Joan Chittister, The Rule of Benedict: Insight for the Ages
The months before I left for Spain I felt constantly frazzled, trying to get it all done before I left for almost two months. I'd get one thing finished and ten more items popped up, demanding my attention.
Joyce Rupp, Walk in a Relaxed Manner
The week before extended time away has a frazzled quality to it, in that more things do indeed "pop up" demanding attention. Yet it can also be an amazingly productive time, as if the deadline itself urges long-standing projects toward their completion, or the simple mystery of timing brings multiple endeavors to the forefront of our consciousness at the same moment.
So it has been for me this week, the last one I'll spend in Washington for the summer. The office has been a virtual whirl of activity, very productive and exciting, on many fronts that I will gladly tell you of soon, bringing to completion or an important plateau of discernment many of the initiatives we began in November.
I do feel, as Rupp describes, the desire to get it all done before I leave, which is, of course, impossible. But the Spirit's presence is so palpable and the conversations so exciting that I don't mind the work at all.
When I ask myself what time it is in my life, and in our life together as the people of God in this diocese, the answer that comes is what the New Testament calls kairos or opportune time. It's time experienced in a spiritual dimension, when what we measure by minutes and hours is transcended with holy possibilities. It doesn't come along every day. It isn't a time to waste.
There is, of course, even as I write, the increasingly long list of things to be done or left undone before heading to the General Convention next week and then to Minnesota for an extended time of retreat, study, and rest. Highest on that list are the many thank you notes I want to write or have written in my mind to so many of you. Thank you for your faithfulness, courage, and countless acts of kindness.
I am grateful beyond words to serve as your bishop. May God continue to bless us all in these summer months.
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