Al Cashion: Bad Timing
Thanksgiving was last Thursday. I say that as if it were news you could use.
It would have been news I could have used if I had come to that realization before last Monday’s column. It would have been timely to write nice things about gratitude and thankfulness and giving thanks and Whom to thank before the annual Thursday event in which we say nice things about gratitude and thankfulness and giving thanks and Whom to thank and watch football.
All my calendars are sneaky. Holidays happen sporadically. Special days magically appear last week. I’ve bought more “Belated” birthday cards than any other brand.
Walking three miles a day, plenty of rest, three squares a day for three weeks, a professional massage, two complete sessions with a six DVD set of Tony Robbins motivational seminars, a serious date with colonic cleansing and a good luck kiss from Swumbo should prepare almost anyone for a serious session of calendar planning.
One would think, would one not?
Yet, with all the preparation and self discipline I can gather, one hour exhausts my goal of planning for a year. Another 15 minutes and the hope of a month’s strategies are reduced to a “week at a glance” page.
A few more minutes pass and the unavoidable collapse occurs.
Time, as marked, measured and drawn out in linear fashion has and will master me. Quite possibly, this may be a more realistic concept anyway.
Perhaps the passage of time and the mystery in the time that has not passed is intended to humble me.
Living behind or beyond today or even the moment can be problematic.
Reliving yesterday’s sorrows and failures is certainly fruitless. Excessive rejoicing in yesterday’s victories can make today a hollow event.
Tomorrow? Nobody has even promised me another one. We get used to having our tomorrows. Someday, we won't get one. Wise Sages of old from every culture have emphasized that today is probably one of the better days to place focus.
Today is just about the only really big deal. No. Really. It is.
My main source of gaining what little wisdom I somehow manage to retain frequently addresses this issue.
Genesis reminds me that time is not part of ultimate reality anyway. Eternity is not a long time. It's the absence of time.
Leviticus tells me to mark time with days that focus on the reality of the Timeless One.
The Wisdom Books of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job relentlessly remind me that the answers for tomorrow are resolved in the wrestling of today and the love affair in Song of Songs is all about the investment in the moment with my Beloved.
The Prophets spoke at length of tomorrow being only the end product, the natural and supernatural consequences of what I am doing and thinking in the now.
On the shores of Galilee, the hills of Judea and the hustle bustle of Jerusalem, Jesus spoke to an ultimate plan to be carried out in his self limited tomorrow. The goal of which was to effect eternity, the place where calendars make no sense and a clock would seem an odd contraption in a curio shop to make one scratch his head and wonder.
But in his exemplary life, he claimed only to see what the Father was doing in the present and joining with him. He spoke of worry for the tomorrow as punishing oneself twice for the single concern. No life was ever more lived in the moment than the one who divided the marking of the calendar in half. B.C and A.D.
Life is to be planned. I understand that. The marking of time is a God given tool that we may number our days “aright and gain a heart of wisdom”. If you are capable, I thank you. I'll follow your calendar.
But, just in case Thanksgiving comes and goes next year without a word from me, in timely fashion before the event, Be thankful.
And … Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Happy July 4th, Happy Valentines Day, Happy Anniversary …