God o’clock


Carrying the weight of the world upon my shoulders.

I have heard that phrase many times from many people. I have used it myself. And I have thought it many times. Sometimes on a daily basis. Sometimes in that form. Usually in other forms:

Why me! What have I done to deserve this? So they think I am Superman! Sod this for a game of darts, I cannot (will not … refuse to … will resent doing … hate you … hate this … am too old for this … shouldn’t have to … WHAT ABOUT ME!)

And if we can recite and bemoan this so competently without any reference to our spiritual leader and father – why should I believe Him when He tells me:

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

What does He know anyway? Being omnipotent and eternal and infinite and all? I only have twenty-four hours in a day, sixty minutes in an hour, and don’t wind me up with the seconds and “living in the present” stuff!

Well …

You will have experienced God o’clock many times. It’s just that we call it love or drudgery.

That lingering kiss with a loved one. An afternoon of love that seemed like a few moments. You may have wished for just a few more precious moments with a loved one. And you will definitely have had those times when seconds drag like minutes and hours drag like days.

I am calling it more and more either “God o’clock” or “Me o‘clock.”

Because when I am moaning and groaning about the mundane I prefer to see burden rather than love. And in those moments “Me o’clock” is as irrational as “God o’clock.”

(my labels are essential for me – because seeing “love” (and all that mushy stuff) is way off my radar in those moments of “my grind”, “my burden”, “my obligation”, “my duty”, “my routine” – right then “love” has no chance at all)

And He usually has to become quite assertive, repeat Himself a few times, even negotiate with me – trading something for something in my “why me” frame of mind. And I often yell back at Him – “PROVE IT THEN!”

God o’clock … because “Me o’clock” is loveless right then.

And when I finally hold my hands up, offer the white flag, tell Him to prove it, unwillingly let go of all my cannot will not should not it’s not fair … then He shows me God o’clock.

Without resentment.

When I let go. Reluctantly – and with disclaimer clauses all written-up for when He can’t make it happen (I have a very self-centred way of “letting go” in these moments – but hey – He doesn’t seem to mind one little bit)

God o’clock.

When the clock becomes irrelevant and the mundane gets done. And the list of stuff weighing me down (in anticipation), becomes a list of stuff done and dusted (in reality). When the seconds and minutes seemed to be hours enough. Enough to clear the mountain so high, the burden so heavy, the weariness of my oppression.

He has never failed – even when I let go enough “to do”, but not enough “to believe” (is that a faith thing – or just me being His creation doing what His creations do?).

On each occasion I looked at the pile of done stuff and looked at the clock – and always my reaction : How the f**k did that happen Lord? And He always smiles. So gently and lovingly.

So …

Why do we talk lovingly of seconds lasting hours, hours lasting seconds when we want? Why do we talk of “God o’clock” quite happily when it is “me moments” of love we really mean?

But why do we reject “God o’clock” in the boring? When all He desires is to keep us safe from our own insanity?

(and just why do we perpetuate this myth of God as “work, sacrifice, sin, burden, sackcloth and ashes, look at poor me, look what I have given up, look how I suffer, how I suffer for my faith …”)

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

God o’clock.

That (for me) is what Jesus was talking about in these verses. His love for me – even when I see no love at all. When all He wants to do is to keep me safe. When all I have to do is let go and be loved (even with my disclaimers).

If I allow.

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28 thoughts on “God o’clock

  1. Life in the raw. I told Him that a couple of times. I’m living life in the raw, Lord.It hurts like “…” and it makes me swear! I love this page to bits.

    • Thank you! Letting go? Trying to be a bit more God Soft Hands Jesus – just my tightly clenched fists keep snapping shut when the pressure is on! Have a gentle soft hands day!! 🙂

      • you mentioned clenched fists, Paul. Here’s a visual – I was feeding my grand daughter – PJ – last night some little “puffs” that toothless babes eat. She managed to grab two – one in each fist. She is too young to then put them in her mouth. As I washed her face and moved to her tightly clenched fists and pried them open – I found a puff in each fist. Her prize – how many times do I clench and hold on to “me” things and don’t even know how to relax the fists and use what I grabbed – what I had to have…….. He feeds me anyway the things I desire and need (just as this Mammy fed PJ) – He doesn’t with hold. He just knows me better……….. “if I allow” to trust……….
        😀
        good church today
        cate b

      • Cate, what a perfect picture! And such innocence. An innocent thing. No sin. No unworthy. Just doing what a PJ does – and two sticky little puffs later – still there!!
        And your reaction? Amusement. No anger. No badness. Just doing what a Cate does.

        Thank you for such a beautiful visual!! I am not sure if my growing concern with “sin” seeming to be bigger than love in so many writings is showing – because this little vignette has nothing other than love and trust stamped all over it. No sin expected, no sin unearthed – just love and trust!!! And that seems closer to relationship with our lord that I am seeing. Less sin, more love. “He doesn’t with hold”

        What a gorgeous way to end the day here!! Thank you!! 🙂

    • Julie – thank you. And this has really happened to me a number of times. One recently in the “chapters sequence”. And each time I am awed – How lord? How?? Still have no idea how. And am still wowed!!

    • Don, thank you. There are times I find I am pushing my own “phrasing boundaries” but not His apparently. I was genuinely surprised to get the green light today with one word in particular. Not sure why that was not edited out – and don’t really need to know. But He keeps me “curious” – curious for others words – curious about Him – all the time really! 🙂

      (and God o’clock – that is a real to me as the desk I sit at each day – when He invites me to remember!)

  2. Dearest Paul.

    This could not have come at a better time. Thank you my friend for helping me see past myself. Yet again.
    Katie. 🙏

    • Katie – thank you – and always – big thanks to Him. Someone gave me a lovely wordless prayer for times when words don’t do it. Just a picture – of a name or a face or a group or whatever – surrounded and connected by His lovely love glowing brightly in and around each. I use it quite a lot. Like now – without knowing why.

      ((hug))

  3. So many thoughts crashing in my head around this one. Heard recently that rest is God-directed activity. Been thinking a lot about Jesus as my Sabbath rest (Hebrews). I want to grow in the ability to be highly productive without the stress you so aptly show here. To walk in God-time. To trust that He knows the needs, that He is championing success in all He’s given me to do. That I can DO and BE in HIM at the same time. (While also having wisdom and balance in how my days are scheduled.) Great post!

    • Hiya Paula. I read your comment and thought, wow that is a big shopping list. Then thought about your words and thought again. That do and be is not much of a shopping list. Simply what we should all be expecting if … we have a relationship worth enjoying. If we want a relationship worth having. Thanks Paula, for inviting me to join you in crashing thoughts. 🙂

  4. Okay, brother Paul. It is midnight where I am and I’ve had a day….A DAY after twelve hours on my feet and this would have knocked me down if I hadn’t been sitting! Thanks for the message (definitely for ME) and giving me something to ponder as I lay me down to sleep!

    God’s time, not mine. Love to others (even the unlovable) and get over myself! Do more with HIm, through Him and stop obsessing of my stack of “stuff.” I don’t usually get to read on my workdays but He sent me here. To this. OUCH!
    Thank You.

  5. Pingback: Reflections of my state of mind | Just me being curious

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