Lenten Reflection – Managing Chronos

We are in the special season of Lent, surely a time of reflection strengthening faith and purpose, not least for the times of the church year when we are not in a state of anticipating some holiday or commemoration.  Managing our time throughout the week, the month, the year in a centered way often occupies my thoughts.  So much so that when a poetry writing class assigned creating a villanelle, I found I couldn’t get much beyond a parody of Dylan Thomas’s famous “Do Not Go Gently into the Good Night.”  Worse, I relapsed into a didactic tone.  Still, my poem below serves me as a reminder of the stewardship of time.

Do not go gently toward the coming week

let all the hours and days be by design;

in clutter let there be holy mystique.

Fuss, over-commitment presses in and sneaks

upon your centeredness, maligns;

do not go gently toward the coming week.

To manage wishes, thoughts is but technique

acquired, prayerfully aligned;

in clutter let there be holy mystique.

Not a request, favor, demand you cannot tweak,

work, labor, drudgery streamline—

do not go gently toward the coming week.

To state a ”no “ is anything but weak,

your “I will,” “yes” judiciously combine;

in clutter let there be holy mystique.

..

These caveats above—far from unique—

with faith and purpose thoughtfully entwined

may gently extricate the coming week

from clutter into God’s holy mystique.

by Mary Cender Miller