-By Pastor Stephen Weisser, Paul’s Run Retirement Community
The speed of life is accelerating. I am guilty of this myself. Now that we can have our computers, our music, our emails, our phones, our contacts, our banks, our apps, and even our beloved Google in our hands we charge through life (looking down) at ever more breakneck speeds. Given the realities that technology imposes by the constant availability of this access life is challenging. It is truly challenging to live and to notice the simple moments of life.
Because of this acceleration, time can often seem like an adversary, not a gift. As the chaplain of Paul’s Run, living in a community of elders where the average age is 87, I find that we think about time every day. Together as we walk we have a clear feeling of the passing of time. Even more, we have a clear sense of the limits of time, and the end of life. Lives are winding down and time is even more precious.
Many residents are engaged in a process much like a weaver finishing her tapestry. When a weaver is finished on her work the last step in the process is to remove the garment from the loom and tie knots on the fringe to hold it all together. Our elders are living this moment. If we were to charge past this moment, or even worse, ignore it, we would do great harm. Chaplaincy helps to pay attention to the importance of this moment.
The daily challenge that we all face is to stop, breathe, and live in the moment. For the moment is where God speaks to us. The moment is all we really have. The moment is where we live and it is holy even when it is leading to our own mortality. Experiencing the holy nature of time and living in the moment given by God is the counter voice to the speed of technology.
Just so, God is timeless. From long before we were born to thousands of years after we die God knows us. God always knows us. There is no limit on time with the Divine. God, one who made the earth, made us, established limits, make promises to our ancestors, who experiences millennia as nothing more than moments hold us. In many ways as we age we come closer to the endless of divine-time and have greater opportunities to experience the importance of the moment.
Perhaps the greatest mystery of our lives is that our very old elders, who have significant dementia, already know this deeply. At first glance it’s counter intuitive, but our opportunities to love our elders teach us love and mindfulness of the moment. Even more, and it’s kind of a radical thought that we, the “cognitively whole,” have nothing to teach to people with dementia. We have so much to learn. For they already know the holy of the moment. Our dear elders already live in divine-time. And, as we listen, as we love, and as we sit at their feet we can learn it too. Our elders are teaching us what it means to love and to be human–the beauty of living in the moment.
Paul’s Run is a Continuous Care Retirement Community and service of Liberty Lutheran. Since 1981, we have been the top choice among many Southeastern Pennsylvania and Northeast Philadelphia residents looking for an elegant retirement community that is as active and dignified as they are. Our community is a place where you or your loved ones can retire and have all of your needs met without sacrificing the feeling of independence or the comforts of home. We know that everyone has unique needs, which is why Paul’s Run offers a broad spectrum of services from independent living and personal care to nursing and rehabilitation. Our residents and their families know that the appropriate care is always available. At Paul’s Run, we want you to choose the lifestyle that meets your individual needs so you can live your life to the fullest!
For more information go to www.paulsrun.org or call