Present Time


   Nothing is more precious than “present time.” The moments, we fully appreciate our life not just for what is in it, but for being itself.

        There’s a beautifully written book by Marilyn Robinson, called Gilead, and it poses as a journal written by an old, dying preacher to his very young son. And her writing has a way of articulating his rich vision, his view from “present time.”


        “I’d never have believed I’d see a wife of mine doting a child of mine. It still amazes me every time I think of it. I’m writing this in part to tell you that if you ever wonder what you’ve done in your life, and everyone does wonder sooner or later, you have been God’s grace to me, a miracle, something more than a miracle. You may not remember me very well at all, and it may seem to you to be no great thing to have been the good child of an old man in a shabby little town you will no doubt leave behind. If only I had the words to tell you.”

  How beautiful it is to see from “present time,” the gifts of our life. The man goes on to speak from a more timeless understanding.

        “There’s a shimmer on a child’s hair, in the sunlight. There are rainbow colors in it, tiny, soft beams of just the same colors you can see in the dew sometimes. They’re in the petals of flowers, and they’re on a child’s skin. Your hair is straight and dark, and your skin is fair. I suppose you’re not prettier than most children. You’re just a nice looking boy, a bit slight, well scrubbed and well mannered. All that is fine, but it’s your existence I love you for, mainly. Existence seems to me the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined. I’m about to put on imperishability. In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye.”

  And that right there is the marvel of present time, existence itself. I’m alive, you’re alive. We’re here, alive, at the same time. And whether it is the most random fleeting event of all, or one of synchronistic symphony here we are and there is nothing more miraculous.

  There is something sacred that happens when we live in “present time,” recognizing the gift our life is. Something comes to connect our inner experience with our outward one. They begin to harmonize together…and profound unity ensues.


  Even though so much may be gone from our lives that we love and care for, it is not gone from “within us.” Even though we may struggle to give form to all the possibilities of feelings and ideas so profound within us, they sparkle in moments and activities before us.

In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says “when you make the two one, when you make the inner as outer and the outer as inner- then shall you enter the Kingdom.”

        That’s the gift of present time. Put down what you’re doing and free yourself from any pace that is not your own, engage in your own rhythm, and the present time reveals itself.


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