A key to happiness is discipline and one great application of discipline is controlling our thoughts: We advance when we are able to dismiss unwelcome or sinful ones. Through practice we can halt the “internal dialogue”: create a mind that simply stops ruminating in a frivolous way and focuses on perceiving God.
One application of this is erasing thoughts that rush us, thoughts that are focused on what time it is. Yes, sometimes — often — we have to.
But there’s no question that we in modern society are too time-driven. We’re constantly checking the hour and minute and orienting most things by that.
There are alarm clocks. There are clocks on your stove. There are clocks on the wall. There are digital clocks in the taskbars of our computer screens. There is time displayed on cell phones — right there when we open the screens. There are wristwatches. The hour and minute are everywhere we turn! Many wear the internet on Apple watches.
Is it turning us crazy?
It’s like Pavlov’s dog: when we see or hear it is a certain time, we instinctively react; it drives what we do next.
The next question:
Should we be so driven by it?
Time, as we know it, is a human invention, and like just about all human inventions, it has side effects. In this case the side effects are adrenaline, anxiety, hurriedness. Higher pulse rates. Disrupted sleep. Insomnia. High blood pressure…
We recently removed the time/calendar from a main computer in the office and noticed an immediate change. Far less tension.
Try it — and note how many times you glance to the corner of the screen looking to see what time it is.
We have become enslaved to the clock, and nothing obsessive is healthy. We go through the day like robots instead of vessels of the Holy Spirit.
Mystic Maria Esperanza of Venezuela was famously unattached to what time it was, and while it may have frustrated folks anxiously awaiting her (she showed up when she showed up), she seemed always calm, joyful, and balanced.
Would not Jesus have been like that also (but more so)? Is there anywhere in the Bible where, in daily ministry, in roaming the countryside — healing and delivering people — He did things by the time of day: adhered to a strict, airtight schedule?
At Galilee, did anyone glance at a wristwatch and say, “Jesus will be here any minute”?
The alarm clock in those times was the crow of the rooster.
People went to sleep when the sun went down and rose when it did at dawn. They were in the “rhythm of nature.” That’s the rhythm of God.
While there are apparitions in which the Blessed Mother appeared according to an announced date or time, it is not like she was checking her watch and perhaps we all need to get back to the way things were done in ancient times — to that time Jesus chose to enter this world.
Heaven is timeless. There is no past, present, or future.
They are all one: rolled into the now.
Live for the moment; grasp it like a precious jewel; live it to the fullest, without rushing it; it never comes again.
[resources: A Life of Blessings]