Your comments

Couldn't you just use set_status to put a permanent clock there, and set_timeout to update it once a minute? You could have an on_activated callback to start the clock if it's not running or something.
Couldn't you do this pretty simply with a plugin?
Option keys are generally used to make foreign or special characters. Option+q defaults to œ.
You can map it yourself by adding it to your user key bindings:
{ "keys": ["alt+q"], "command": "wrap_lines" },
Do you have a lot of different status IDs?
I do agree that the status message could be more persistent, but I don't think you should need to pass a flag—It'd be nice if all status messages lasted until you did something or for a minimum amount of time, whichever is longer.
What if you used view.set_status, and then in your on_selection_modified and view.on_deactivated callbacks you called view.erase_status?
After pressing cmd+shift+space you can use cmd+u to shrink the selection back.
This exists already. In OS X it defaults to cmd+shift+space.