It’s the one thing we can’t get back, the one thing we can’t “create” more of. We use it every day to create plans, to make schedules, and to keep track of where we’ve been and where we are headed. Some squander it, some value it, and others just simply take it for granted. School-aged kids believe it to go by so slow until those same kids grow to be adults and long for it to slow down. It interacts and intertwines with every part of lives no matter what age or walk of life we are from. We wish we had more of it, wish we could make it stand still, long for those moments where loved ones were still part of it.
I really don’t know why “time” has been on my mind so much lately, but the more I think about it, the more complex it seems to be. I really believe the only person who had a complete grasp on what exactly “time” is is the Creator Himself, God Almighty. Even then, He views time so differently than we view time, but when You’re eternal and not bound by time, I would expect nothing less.
Eternity. It’s something I struggle with comprehending because my mind it too small to fathom a world where time is no longer a part of it. Especially since time seems to be one of the most important aspects of this world.
I used to think time was going by soooo slow. I clearly remember telling one of my second grade teachers about a dream I had the night before that class: I was 16 and driving my friends around. We were going to the mall to just hang out. Fast forward to when I actually turned 16 and it seemed like that dream was only weeks ago instead of 8 years ago. Once I graduated high school time seems to accelerate, and even more so after getting married. Now I’m a mom of a 2 year old who is currently kicking me in the side with her toes of metal as I write this, wondering how it’s possible that time is flying by so fast. I remember waiting in the hospital to meet this precious girl I could feel every second that went by. And that is distinctly the last time since I can recall time going by “slow”.
Death , or the anticipation of death, makes one think about time in a different light. It’s sad to think that so many people who receive a “death sentence” brought on by cancer or some other horrible disease don’t truly to start to “live” until they realize they are going to die soon. When the expiration date on your time is near, I guess it makes you want to stop and smell the roses and realize what’s truly important in life. But the truth is, all of us is going to die a physical death at some point. Our time on this earth will end. And the only one who knows this moment is God.
So why do we so often take our days for granted? Why do we “live for tomorrow” and plan out every detail of our lives like we can control it?
Imagine a world where we actually valued our time here on earth and thought every moment was important. Imagine what would happen if we realized tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and we lived for the day, guided by the Spirit in every moment, being the hands and feet of Jesus so that His Kingdom could be “on earth as it is in Heaven”. Imagine if we kept God first and our family second above all else, and we waited just a little while longer before checking our e-mail. Imagine if we lived like our work actually mattered because our days our numbered and we wanted to influence all of those surrounding us, and even those that we may never even meet, because we stopped and said “Yes” to God and “no” to watching that next episode on Netflix.
Imagine a world where people cared and took a stand against world hunger. Imagine a world where people were passionate and zealous for the Gospel and weren’t so easily offended because they understood that our time here is but a vapor. Imagine a world where people understood that people are different, and that’s something to be celebrated, not held against one another.
Imagine a world where people actually LIVED in the moment instead of trying to capture it on Snapchat, filter it on Instagram, and talk it up on Facebook. Imagine a world where you could actually remember the moments you lived instead of having to “review your timeline” because you were never really there to create the memory yourself.
A couple of weeks ago, a former co-worker of mine was murdered. It was completely out of the blue, totally unexpected, and he was found innocent – his murdered charged completely guilty. It was a total shock for me, but definitely for those closest to him. He truly was a great guy, a great friend to so many, with a warm smile and so much kindness in his heart. I still think back to one of my favorite memories of him. We were sitting in the back at work and he was telling me about some of the places he traveled, and some of the places he was planning to go. I very quickly realized that this guy had the right attitude. He never took it for granted. He was generous to others, spent time with his family and friends, but also took time for adventures, to see the world. And he was someone I admired from that moment on.
In a recent sermon series, our pastor encouraged us to “spy” on our money.After doing this, I felt God leading me to “spy” on my time. A few nights ago I wrote out all the hours in my week and how I spend them. I was shocked to find that on week nights alone, I only have 1-2 hours of “free time”. I thought about this as I turned to a previous list I made a couple months ago of all the things I was trying to do with my time, a list I had made after being told by a dear friend of mine that I was trying to “do too much, to fix too much”. I knew it was true to some degree, but after looking at the two lists side-by-side I was absolutely speechless. The truth is I was spreading myself too thin and doing a bunch of things just “okay” that I was not able to do anything well at all. I did not really see just how precious my time was. I was taking it for granted, thinking I had way more of it than I actually had. And in that time I actually had, I was “so busy” I couldn’t enjoy a single moment of it.
I’m starting to view time differently now, trying to enjoy every moment of life, even those that seem so small or don’t feel that great, because all of it matters. I don’t want to be 60 years old one day shaking my head saying it was all a blur. I want to live in every moment and remember the way it felt, all the colors, the scents, and the sounds. I want to make a difference while I’m still here and just sit and be. Life goes by so fast already, I don’t want to “wish” the smallest moments away for the “larger” ones. The truth it, it’s probably the “mundane”, the “day-to-day” that impact us more anyway.
Because I believe time matters. It’s precious. Every hour, every minute, and every second of every day. It makes a difference. And I want to spend all of my time guided by the Spirit, living like Jesus, in glory to the Father. Amen.