Just a Minute?

Little Clear CreekIn one of Amy Carmichael’s books she offers the following stories of “the pilgrim.”  “The pilgrim worried that sometimes he would not have much time to care for his love-relationship with God.  Then the Lord spoke to him, and answered his unspoken question: ‘Do you have only one minute?  Hem it with quietness.  Do not spend it in thinking how little time you have.  I can give you much in one minute.’” “The pilgrim sat by the water, and his dear Lord said to him: ‘As the ripples of the river glance up to the light, let your heart glance up to Me in little looks of love very often through the day.’”

In these busy days leading up to Christmas some of us might find ourselves lamenting that we do not have much time to spend with the One whose birth we celebrate.  Carmichael’s first story may be of help to us.  If we have just a minute to give to Christ that can be enough if we will fully engage him in that minute. 

Carmichael’s second story also offers us wonderful advice.  We can find all around us in nature reminders that will direct our thoughts to Christ.  No, we may not have a lot of time at the moment to devote to Christ but like “ripples of the river glance up to the light” we can turn our thoughts to Christ from time to time and offer him expressions of worship and love.

I know I’ve said it before but I truly do believe that by paying attention to God’s Creation we can find ourselves moved to prayer and worship.  A single star in the sky might remind us of the majestic light that led the Magi to Bethlehem.  The sight of snow may call to our mind the prophet’s promise, “though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow” and how Jesus came to secure the forgiveness of our sins.  If we live in rural areas the sighting of cattle or sheep might lead us to ponder the lowly manner in which Christ came into this world, being born in a stable.

We may all be busy right now and find it hard to spend extended periods of time in communion with God, but we can still steal minutes to turn our thoughts toward “the Word made flesh.”  I suspect when we do so we will discover, along with Amy Carmichael, that God can give us much in one minute.

–Chuck

(The image above is of Little Clear Creek in Bell County, Kentucky.)