Availability to Other People
Availability is fundamental in our relations with others. In every encounter with someone else, however long or short, we should make him feel we’re one hundred percent there for him at that moment, with nothing else to do except be with him and do whatever needs doing for him. Good manners, yes, but also real, heartfelt availability.
This is very difficult, since we have a strong sense of proprietary rights to our time and easily tend to get upset if we can’t organize it as we choose. But this is the price of genuine love.
If Jesus asks us not to have any worries, that is mainly to safeguard the quality of our relations with other people. A heart preoccupied by concerns and worries isn’t available to other people.
Parents should remember this: children can get along happily without constantly demanding their parents’ attention, provided there are regular times when Dad or Mom have no concern except being with them.
If we are riddled with anxieties instead of leaving them in God’s hands, we can’t offer our children that kind of time, and they will never feel secure in our love, no matter how many expensive gifts we lavish on them.
Psychological Time and Interior Time
If we try to live like that and deepen our relationship with God and our prayer life, so that we can perceive his presence within us and live as much as possible in communion with his indwelling, we shall discover something wonderful: the interior rhythm of grace that our life follows at its deepest level.
It might be said that there are two modes of time: time of the head and time of the heart.
The first is psychological time, the time in our minds, which we make calculations about, and divide into hours and days to be managed and planned. This kind of time always goes either too fast or too slowly.
But there is another sort of time, experienced at certain moments of happiness or grace, though it always exists. This is God’s time, the time of the deep rhythms of grace in our lives.
It is composed of a succession of moments harmoniously linked. Each of those moments is complete in itself, full, because in it we do what we have to do, in communion with God’s will.
That time is communion with eternity. It is time we receive as a gift. If we always lived in that time, we would have much less opportunity for harm and wrongdoing.
The devil slips into time we live badly because we are refusing something or grasping too eagerly at something else.
The saints habitually lived in that interior time. To do that required great inner freedom, total detachment from our own plans and programs and inclinations.
We must be ready to do in an instant just what we hadn’t expected, to live in total self-abandonment, with no other concern than doing God’s will and being fully available to people and events.
We also need to experience in prayer God’s presence within us and to listen inwardly to the Holy Spirit so as to follow his suggestions. Then nothing is left to chance.
Often we may journey in darkness, but we sense that our lives are unfolding in a rhythm we do not control but to which we are happy to abandon ourselves and by which all events are arranged with infinite wisdom.
“The independence of women is making masculine care and protection unnecessary, and this is a loss to both of them.
As the man is deprived of his masculine function he feels less needed and therefore less masculine. As the woman assumes masculine burdens she takes on male characteristics, to fit the job. This means a loss of femininity, a loss of gentleness. The male responsibility adds strain to her life, more tension and worry. This results in a loss of serenity, a quality very valuable if she is to succeed in the home. And when she spends her time and energy doing the man’s work, she neglects important functions in her own role. This results in losses to the entire family.” – Helen Andelin, Fascinating Womanhood
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