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Fullness of Time

by Sara Olson-Smith

My mornings are utterly chaotic. I am amazed that we even make it out of the door most days, much less on time. While I race around, our 7-month-old plays contentedly on the floor, babbling to herself. I keep my eyes on the clock as I rush to pack a lunch, fill a bag for daycare, pick up the toys left out, and try to find my keys. My daughter looks up and grins at me every once in awhile. But mostly, she’s lost in the joy of the present moment, banging her rattle on the ground.

Our Struggle with Time

In those busy mornings, my daughter and I experience time in two different ways. My time is ruled by the clock. I make choices based on how many minutes are left and what I can do before the next thing happens.

My daughter has no idea how to read a clock. Whether it’s the softness of her teddy bear or the discomfort of a wet diaper, what matters to her is what is happening right here, right now.

Watching her play in the morning sometimes makes me want to toss my clock out of the window. Wouldn’t life be so much better if I could just play patty-cake all day and snuggle with my girl? But as soon as I think it, I remember the job I love. And I think about my husband with whom I share these joys and responsibilities. All these things matter. All are faithful, fulfilling uses of time. And somehow God is in the midst of if all. But I still wrestle with how to live with the time I’ve been given.

The Rev. Sara Olson-Smith is an associate pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa.

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