Friday 6 August 2010

…And A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

The week has flown by – we made a list of all the ‘post Holiday Club’ tasks and have been steadily working through them. But tiredness has made us both a lot slower than usual, and as is normal, random events have thwarted our plans a little.


I tried not to fret, and believed it would all get done before we go to Cornerstones for our long-awaited summer holiday.

prayers of life Then yesterday I was able to have a lovely chat on the phone with a dear friend. We were talking about a service she is leading on the subject of ‘Time’ – and I suddenly remembered a prayer [from Michel Quoist’s  “Prayers of Life”] which I first read about 40 years ago.

It seemed very apposite – and reminded me of the need to work at His measured pace, not my own – which is sometimes a less effective frenetic dash.


I went out, Lord,
Outside people were going out.

london commuters

They were going,
They were coming,
They were walking,
They were rushing.

Motor bikes, cars , trucks, the whole street was rushing

They were rushing so as not to lose time.
They were rushing after time to catch up with time, to gain time.

Goodbye sir, excuse me, I haven't time.
I'll come back, I can't wait, I haven't time.
I'd like to help you, but I haven't time.
I can't accept, for lack of time.
I can't read, I can’t think, I haven't time.

child readingThe child - he's playing,
he hasn't time at the moment....later on...
The schoolboy - he's got his homework,
he hasn't time...later on...
The student - he's got his lectures, and such a lot of work,
he hasn't time...later on...
The young man - he's playing sport, he hasn't time...later on...

The married man - he has his house to run,
he hasn't time...
later on...
The father - he has his children, he hasn't time...later on...

The grandparents - they have their grandchildren,
they haven't time...later on...

They're sick! They're dying, they have...

Too late! They have no more time!

They're all rushing after time, Lord.

Despite all their efforts, there's never enough time.
Lord, you must have made a mistake somewhere.
There's been a tremendous oversight.
The hours are too short, the days are too short,
our lives are too short.

You, who are outside of time,
You smile, Lord, to see us struggle with it.
And you know what You are doing.
You don't make mistakes when You allot time to men.
You give to each one the time to do what You want him to do.
But it is wrong to lose time, to waste time, to kill time,
For time is Your gift to us -
But a perishable gift, a gift that doesn't keep.


Lord, I have time
All the time that You give me,
The years of my life,
The days of my years,
They are all mine. Mine to fill up calmly, peacefully,
But to fill up completely, right to the brim -
To offer to You, that of their stale water
You may make a rich wine, as you made once at Cana

I don't ask today Lord,
for time to do this or time to do that.
I ask for Your grace to do conscientiously,
in the time that You give me,
the things that You want me to do.


  1. Thank you for that Ang, it is a wonderful poem. I'd forgotten how we used to read so many of his poems....waaaay back in the 70s!

  2. I've heard that prayer before and it's so applicable to life in today's frenetic world. I just pray the Lord will slow me down enough to 'smell the roses' and reflect on him more.


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