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In her book Loud and Clear, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen shares this observation:

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make…  I did not live in the moment enough.  This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs.  There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one.  And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night.  I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed.  I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”

We all are aware of those times in our lives when we have become so busy with schedules and responsibilities, that we let the grace, the opportunity of the moment escape from us, for the sake of “things that needed to be done.”

In today’s reading the prophet Isaiah urges us to reconsider our understanding of time; to realize that time is a precious gift, and that we need to make the most of it.

How often do we hear the stories of individuals who face a near death experience, or recover from a serious illness, in which they reflect on how the experience helped them to better appreciate and not take for granted each moment of their life, the opportunities to love and be loved.

Recently I was asked why there is no Holy Water, why we do not do Baptisms in Lent, why things are different in Lent.  The reason is to invite us to step back from the routine of life, from the things we take for granted in life, and to better appreciate the moment, the life that God has given us; and to hear more clearly the invitation to discipleship, to a relationship with Jesus.

May this Lent instill in us a new perspective about time.  May this Lenten season enable us to better see the opportunities of being about the work of establishing your kingdom in this moment of our lives.