March 12, 2009

Divine Timing at work…

Posted in Between Us column, Spirituality, Women at 2:46 am by dinaheng

Whenever I visit my sister Linda’s house, I never trust the time on her clocks.

The one in the living room is set seven minutes ahead. The one in her bedroom is set five minutes ahead. The one in the bathroom is three minutes fast.  The clock in her car?

“It’s pretty close to on time,” Linda says, ”maybe two minutes ahead.”

Can you see the countdown to the front door? I tease my sister about her sense of timing, but in actuality, a lot of people try to fool themselves by setting the clock ahead to ensure that they’ll get somewhere on time. Life, however, doesn’t always cooperate with our plans.

Many of us who saved regularly, investing for the day we retire, have lost a lot of those savings in the current economic downturn. Several of my friends who are the most frightened are talented people who have earned good incomes and never had to worry about whether they could afford to pay the mortgage.

One of my downstairs neighbors, who owns a travel  agency, told me yesterday that his business has tanked. He’s moved in with his family and is selling his condo.

My dear friend Lynne, who’s in her 80s, was living in an assisted care home. She’s now  moved in with her daughter and son-in-law to make sure there’s enough money to last the rest of her life.

When money becomes scarce, people become the safety net. This, I think, is the real blessing of this wretched economy. Losing the material things in our lives is forcing us to turn to each other for support, and to realize that there’s nothing more important in life than the people we love.

Diminished resources at work are forcing silos to fall in the workplace. Partnerships that people once avoided are now required for survival. Barriers to innovation and change are slowly being dismantled. I don’t think these things would be happening as fast as they are without this recession.

Most of the time, we treat others as if there’s all the time in the world. We procrastinate getting together with friends because there’s work to be done. We put off apologies because we’d rather hold onto anger than forgive. We network to meet people, but don’t take the time to form true relationships.

We worry about the future, hold onto the past, and totally miss the present.

I had coffee today with my friend Robert. He and his partner Douglas adopted a baby girl two years ago, and for the last nine months, have been taking care of Sarah, an infant taken away from her methamphetamine-addicted parents.

The guys want to adopt Sarah, but the social worker thinks the judge will give the baby back to her biological parents because they’ve tested drug-free for six months now. Never mind that neither parent works and the mother is apparently pregnant again.

Waiting for the final outcome is agonizing, especially since it may be months before Sarah’s case is settled. But as Robert put it, “This is teaching me that I have to look for the miracle. No matter how much I want to say to the Universe, ‘Why don’t you leave this one to me,’ I know I can’t. It’s up to Divine Timing now.”

That’s really how it is with everything. Our lives are co-created with others — with people we love, people we dislike, people we don’t even know — and with God. If we focus too much on what may or may not happen along the way, we’ll miss the moment that matters most — here and now.

Just look at my sister’s clocks. It doesn’t really matter what time they’re set at. What matters is that she and I are together… laughing and sharing the moment.

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