Apparently, this mysterious writer has me pegged - Anonymous knows how much I wring my hands over my use and misuse of time. (Maybe I'm not alone in this?) After a short description of how time is made up of tiny units called "atoms" and how we will give account to God for our use of our life's "atoms," the author anticipates my distressed interjection (my paraphrase):
"How can I give an account of every single moment I've spent - I, who have to this day never taken note of how I spent my time during my 24 years of life? [Dude, Anonymous even pegged my age! Well, at least for a couple more weeks.] ... Help me now for the love of Jesus!"And then the author relieves my distress (again, my loose paraphrase):
"You said it well: "For the love of Jesus!" For in the love of Jesus is your help! Love is such a power that it makes all things common. Therefore, love Jesus, and then everything that is his will be yours. Because he is God, he is the maker and giver of time. Because he is human, he is the very keeper of time. And because he is both God and human, he is the most just judge and the one who asks for an account of how time is dispensed. Therefore, knit yourself to him by love and by belief, and then because of that knot you will be able to see time alongside him in the way that he does, and alongside all those others who are also knitted to him by love: with Mary who was full of all grace in keeping time, with the angels of heaven who can never lose time, and with all the saints in heaven and on earth who by the grace of Jesus rightly heed time because of love."In all my years of hand-wringing over my poor time management, never has anyone suggested to me that maybe the answer isn't really establishing boundaries, buying a new day book (which I use for about 2 weeks and then lose), or mapping out a schedule. Maybe instead I'd better concern myself with something altogether different: simply loving Jesus. The Cloud of Unknowing offers an alternative way to measure time: not by hours, days and years, not by tasks completed and tasks left undone, but simply by "sparkles." These are the moments, the "atoms" when the soul leaps toward God out of love for God alone, like "a sparkle from the coal." That, I feel, is the best, most appealing way to orient my time and measure the quality of my life: by every momentary blaze of love toward God.