takes years of practice ~
As I was writing this morning, I came across a hymn from 1918, written by William D. Longstaff entitled “Take Time to Be Holy.” The very first stanza caught my attention, “Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord; abide in Him always, and feed on His Word; make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak; forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.”
Wow! I work with an elder law attorney and a large portion of our clients are veterans or widows or widowers of veterans. Many of these veterans are from World War II. When I saw the date of this hymn as 1918, I was heartened to realize that those in harms way in World War I would have had this hymn as well as those who followed in their footsteps 23 years later.
The call to take time to be holy and to speak often with our Lord is an urgent call for us today. Observing that call, however, takes practice, takes steadfast faithfulness. That very steadfast faithfulness comes at a cost — not so many hours in front of the “screen” perhaps or reading entertaining literature. There comes a time in our lives when we begin to realize just how important, just how often we need to be speaking with our Lord.
As caregivers, finding the time consistently to sit down and speak with Jesus is beyond comprehension some days. Yet, having a constant conversation, of some meaningful depth, does not have to mean silence and solitude. In the midst of caregiving, we can bring Jesus into that very relationship, invite Jesus to walk with us as we bathe and dress our loved one. We can even invite our loved one into our conversation with Jesus and bear witness to what they have to share with God.
Taking time to be holy has to be intentional. Whether inviting Jesus to walk alongside you while caregiving or finding a way of taking time to be holy as “the world rushes on; spend[ing] much time in secret with Jesus alone; by looking to Jesus like Him thou shalt be; thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.” By having conversations (speaking and listening) with Jesus, we draw on His strength, His Way and Word to guide us through difficult situations.
The grace and mercy of Jesus Christ can also walk alongside us in the form of our loved one, of family members, of friends — even of strangers. Christ has promised us His company; we have the Holy Spirit to comfort us and pray with and for us in times of great need. “Tak[ing] time to be holy, [to] be calm in [our] soul, [giving] each thought and motive [to Jesus’] control, we will be led by His Spirit to fountains of love, [we] soon shall be fitted for service above.”
Taking time to be holy is a required activity of daily living — whether caregiving or receiving.
~ Daphne Reiley