Father Manny Reflects on Sacred Time With Family

Time: It is what we all wish we had more of as we never seem to have enough. We make sure we spend the time we’re afforded well, effectively and with a purpose. Time is sacred and a gift from God. Even when we take time to relax and rest, we do so with a purpose and a goal…to invigorate and strengthen ourselves, to ease our mind and body so we can return to the things that need our attention. The expression “killing time,” is such a blasphemous statement. Time is sacred and a gift from God. How dare any one ‘kill’ some thing that is of God? Yes, it’s only an expression. Perhaps it is best we keep it that way…an expression and nothing more.

I’m spending some of this ‘sacred time’ here with my family in metro Detroit. There’s a wedding to take place on the 22nd, Saturday, though I will not be able to attend. But, for a few days this week, I’m truly blessed to spend time with my sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews from Florida, Virginia, Colorado and of course Michigan. As we all grow older, the time we’re allotted to be together gets less and less. It’s no wonder that when we do get together, we talk about the days when we were all much younger, when we lived under one roof in our old family home in southwest Detroit–when Mom and Dad seemed invincible and always busy with some thing around the home or the yard. When meals were always hot and made from scratch and we sat and shared meals together. When the house smelled of baked bread and fresh pasta sauce simmering atop the stove. When, after dinner, we had the choice of only 7 television stations to watch on our black and white Magnavox. When “fine tuning” the television meant adjusting the antenna and the aluminum foil that could be bent into any form and direction. When we only listened to AM radio and “bubble gum rock and roll” and local sports was all we knew. From our backyard we could clearly see the Ambassador Bridge that connects Detroit and Windsor, Canada. It was a small part of this vast universe. Yet, for me, it was my world and I loved it. Still do, in case you wonder!

Here in this small portion of the universe, here in the western suburbs of a great metropolitan region, here this community of St. Nicholas exists. We are blessed in so many ways. We make good use of the sacred time God gives us. We worship together. We break bread together. We laugh and we cry together. We work hard, we relax when we can and we know from where our source of strength and faith comes…Jesus, our most holy Redeemer.

We all have our stories. Each of us can recall our past, our younger years, when time seemed endless and our energy was unlimited. We remember what was and we wondered what will be. We lived in the present time, yet, with a small part of our hearts and minds focused on what the future held for us. I suspect we shall always wonder what the future has in store. We ponder and we dream about what is to be.

With the time we have–the here and now, today, and all the “todays” to come–let’s make sure we use God’s gift of time wisely. Let’s see to it we utilize our gifts well. That we share our talents, our time and other such gifts with those around us, especially those who are less fortunate than ourselves. That in our time of prayer and worship, we call out to the God of all people and invoke God’s name for the safety and well being of all our loved ones and those who ask for our prayers and intentions and for those who are in need of God’s divine intervention. God’s love and time are endless. Our love and time has human limits. In the midst of God’s “endless” and our “limited” it is here we dwell and exist. And in this time, the here and the now, we spend this most precious of gifts, this time we are afforded for the greater good…to praise our God, to build His Kingdom as we share one another’s lives and stories, our strengths and our weaknesses. And when we are together my dear friends, truly, it is time well spent.

-Manny

manny@stnicholasepiscopal.org


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