I. The Two Uses of Time, P 11
11 If you are tempted to be dispirited by thinking how long it would take to change your mind so completely, ask yourself, “How long is an instant?” Could you not give so short a time to the Holy Spirit for your salvation? He asks no more, for He has no need of more. It takes far longer to teach you to be willing to give Him this than for Him to use this tiny instant to offer you the whole of Heaven. In exchange for this instant He stands ready to give you the remembrance of eternity.
Have you ever looked at a menu and thought that a sandwich would be good, then before you ordered, changed your mind and decided that a bowl of soup was what you wanted? How long did that take? How hard was it? We all know we can change our mind; we do it all the time. I’ll park here. No, wait; there is a better place. I’m going to do some writing, or no, I’m going to take my walk first. Easy peasy, just change your mind.
But suppose you love the sandwich and you love the soup. You might go back and forth for awhile. It might be hard to decide which one, but eventually you will make a choice. Until you do you will be hungry. This is what happens when I decide that I am tired of being fearful and decide I will give my problem to the Holy Spirit rather than the ego. It is no different from deciding between the sandwich and the soup, and no harder. If I put it off and sit in indecision, I will hunger for peace, but eventually, my hunger will drive me to a better decision.
I don’t keep up with the news too much, but today my wandered to something in the headlines and then to the next thing. I felt an emotional reaction to what I was reading. Instead of letting that emotion pass on through, I fed it by thinking about the story, making judgments, projecting blame. I wanted to tell someone how I felt about it, I wanted to take sides and present a reasoned argument against the other. As I did so, I stoked the fire of my indignation and then the emotions were running high.
How long will it take the Holy Spirit to turn this around for me? How long will it take Him to heal my mind of the beliefs that were triggered by those stories? No time at all, it is done in the blink of an eye. The only thing that takes time is for me to decide if I want to add to the illusion of hate and fear, or do I want an awakened mind? Do I want to live in the peace of God, or do I want to be part of the problem? It took me only a few minutes to make that decision.