Time the Machine

I am reading Dan Allender’s Sabbath as part of my involvement with Thomas Nelson Publishers’ program called BookSneeze. I was going to rush through it to get my review done and my new book in the mail–how ironic, right? The book is about resting in the midst of the hurried-ness of life.

We are surrounded by noise, speed, power, freneticism. As I write this, a song is pumping through the speakers at work. Quiet makes customers nervous. Is it that we have been rushing for so much of our lives that we are uncomfortable with ourselves? We need stimuli to keep us from fully engaging with the humans around us. Instead, we fill our eyes, ears, nose, and throat with distractions. If we can just get from the bed in the morning back to the bed in the evening without having to confront or be confronted then I am happy.

While I disagree with some fundamental assumptions regarding Sabbath Allender has used, I have found the book extremely helpful. Here are some excerpts:

We seldom honor the reality that we own time; we are far more inclined to use time to gain advantage and control. The oddity is that the more we treat time like an extension of a machine, called a clock, the more we are bound to time as if it is the boss and we are the slave (p.53)

I was finishing another writing project as I worked on this book. I took several days while I was overseas to write. I wrote for four hours every day and was near completion, when on the way back I was interrupted by a meal service and the tray was put on my table before I could close my computer. I held my laptop above the tray and saved the document, and then closed the computer down. Apparently, I did something wrong. When I opened it after lunch, my entire document was gone. I did everything I knew to do to retrieve it, and there was nothing but a blank page. Irrespective of the cause, my first thought was, I’ve lost all that time; when will I get the time to do it over? I have wasted precious time, and it is gone. Several deep presumptions exist in those sentences. I own time; and it owns me. It is mine to use; and when I waste it, as if I could, it is my fault. There was no thought that in rewriting the work, it may improve far more than a mere editing of the first document (p.53; emphasis original)

When we see time as a machine, then when it appears to break, we can do little but vent our frustration and wait for the expert to help us, rather than to submit and honor the One who has created time for our delight (p.54)

If you’re like me, rather than letting the presumptions he mentions sink deep in my psyche, I start wondering what he did with that document so that it did not save! And then presuming that I could have retrieved it for him. How busy we are!

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