2 hour delay. That was the news on the radio and on the television. Ice on the roads, not safe to drive, you're delayed. There is great spiritual irony in this. I usually take Abby to school, but because of the delay, my morning has to be rearranged if possible – because of the delay. How about this scene? Standing in the airport staring at the departures board and in big red letters – DELAYED. Then follows frustrated calls on the cell phone to whoever is picking us up or expected us upon our arrival. Or this one – red lights (another delay). Busy signals (another delay). Our lives have been so structured (and so full) that the slightest delay, even if it doesn't really impact our schedule, twists our emotions all out of sorts.
The spiritual irony in this is that throughout the Biblical story and in Church Tradition, we are called to delay to notice God. Perhaps we should tape Psalm 46:10 to our dash boards (or our cell phones!): "Be still, and know that I am God!" I don't think we are much unlike the raging waves of the Galilee. Restless, churning, even violent. Then there were the words of Jesus, "Peace. Be still." (Mark 4:39)
St Augustine once echoed the waves of the sea, "Let my soul take refuge from the crowding turmoil of worldly thought, behind the shadow of Thy wings. Let my heart, this sea of restless waves, find peace in Thee, O God."
If you have a two hour delay, how will you spend it? If you're at a red light and you cannot move, where are your thoughts? If you're on a concourse and your plane is delayed, what now?
What about silence? Thinking of God and holding other people in your thoughts of God. Think about those for whom you are at odds and ask for God's blessing on them. The Lord's Prayer. Enjoy the delay. Be still and know God.
Fr. Steve Rice
Rector, St Timothy's Episcopal Church