Friday, January 29, 2010

Relational Time

Racing down the motor way (faithfully keeping my speed at 100 km, the legacy of my mother who taught me that at 101 km God left the car, thanks mum), I changed lanes frequently, ducking and diving only to arrive at the same red light at the same time as the cars I had passed.... A familiar thought entered my headspace.... what's the hurry? why the rush?

I sit on a committee (the evidence of hell on earth) that sponsors a campaign to "End Poverty Now" and at donning the hip new bracelet (every campaign needs a bracelet, a catchy slogan and celebrity endorsement), I had that same strange thought... what's the hurry? why the rush? I can think of many good reasons why to hurry up and end poverty... the 24 000 kids who die everyday from poverty-fueled and preventable diseases... or what of the 800 million people who go to bed hungry every night... there's some good reasons why... And then I entertained the thought a little longer, what if poverty only continues to exist because we're continually looking for a fast fix? The quick solution?... A done deal by tea time?... what if we were to take the time needed to really close the gap, to form real relationships with the poor?... There is no doubt that it would take longer, but wouldn't the time spent in reciprocal relationships mean a more dignified and sustainable lessening of poverty?... And wouldn't that lead to a change in us?... The change we desperately need, that I definitely need, the deep change that is missed when we're hurrying and rushing...

Stanley Hauerwas has this to say on time (it is deceptively deep):
"We have all the time we need to do what needs to be done... The alleged democracies in which we live run on speed, necessitating technologies designed to help us become the sort of people who do not need anyone. It seems to me that democracies want to produce people who do not need to rely on trusting one another" (Living Gently in a Violent World).

The eradication of poverty will only happen when we become trustworthy... when we can be depended on and trusted to deliver on our grand promises... when we take the time to consistently and faithfully be there for and with others.... when we honestly embrace the poverty of our relationships.

1 comment:

  1. Could it be that to be that involved would be uncomfortable? We generally look at what we don't have and therefore desire more. We aspire to live a life similar to the one portrayed in the media of celebrities.

    Donating $10 here and $20 there appeases my conscience and lets me feel like I'm contributing towards solving the problem. I don't want to be changed much less realise the immense wealth both financial and non-financial that is mine!