The Midafternoon pause scares me. I am afraid if I pause I will nap, then struggle to get anything else done. Midafternoon for me represents lethargy, sluggishness and panic over what I haven’t accomplished.
So this pause will be difficult for me, yet one I really need to ponder and digest.
The fourth pause of the day is Midafternoon.
Pause and Listen to the Lesson of the Hour
The theme of this hour according to Macrina Wiederkehr is steadfastness, surrender, forgiveness and wisdom. She notes that the “day is aging. Shadows lengthen as the light stretches toward evening…There is a yearning for completion. It is longing to put my house in order before the day ends.”
This is the time of day the truth hits you:
Have you lived today?
Have you paused and been present to the Lord?
This day will not last much longer, no matter how good, productive, or terrible the day was, how have our spent the gift of this day?
Wiederkehr also notes that one of the themes of Midafternoon is impermanence. That may not be all bad as who would like this day never to end? We really have no lasting time or home on earth anyway.
Life is so fragile. Midafternoon reminds us to pause and be mindful what a gift life and time is for us.
Stretch and Grow
I am beginning to appreciate and learn the lessons of Midafternoon. This pause in diminishing light brings new colors as the sun sets. A new way of gaining perspective on life and all the busyness of doing that imprisons us during the day.
Questions to ponder:
What am I clinging to so fiercely that I need to let go?
Did I take a deep breath and enjoy God’s creation today and while I still have time to do so?
Henry David Thoreau writes, “To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of arts.” How have we affected the quality of this day?
Wiederkehr writes, “The ancients had a different relationship wit time than most of us have. Time was not an enemy with which to do battle. For the elders of our historic past, time was more of a loving companion.”
Midafternoon is wisdom hour, yes a loving companion. I have much to learn from her.
“We stand before the dying day, offering our bouquet of life.”
“Sustain me as you have promised that I may live; disappoint me not in my hope.” Psalm 119:116