How to Deal with the Realities of Time?
Time comes and goes. Time passes. Time speeds up and slows down. Time is an enemy and a friend. Time interacts with us but is outside our control.
What does faith have to do with time? How does hope make any difference? And is time influenced at all by grace or love?
I can only speak as a woman who is no longer young. At least I try to be wise. And here are a few things I’ve learned:
- Who doesn’t want to be young, beautiful, and rich? But you know what trumps everything else? A meaningful life. Why am I here? Whom do I love, and who loves me? What is God creating through my life at this very moment? A person who lives meaningfully and intentionally has gone beyond the thin sphere of youth and beauty.
- The physicists are still figuring out how time and space are not what they seem. I don’t understand how this is so, but with God, everything is present tense. This means that everything is redeemable—even something that happened years ago. Grace is the final word, no matter the era or circumstance.
- Each season of life has its gifts and its losses. A mature person learns how to receive both. When the children are little, you enjoy their childhood but give up freedom and fancy things. In your later years, the body wears out but if you’re wise you have built a rich interior life and don’t mind if you have to sit still more than you used to. The middle years stretch us almost beyond our limits—taking care of teenagers and elderly parents, maintaining a home and two or three careers, being given more responsibility on all fronts. And women get to enjoy all of this stretching and growing while traversing the wild days of perimenopause and menopause! Is God having fun yet?
- Time can speed up (on vacation) or slow down (while waiting for medical test results), but our steps with Jesus are steady and always somehow on time. In order to appreciate this, we have to remember that our missteps and detours are never a surprise to God. We’re the only ones who expect perfection from ourselves; Divine Love always has a back-up plan, a new way forward, a blessing that arises in the midst of tensions and tears.
- All we really have is now. I may need to reflect on my past or make plans for my future, but most of my attention should be focused on this moment—the task in front of me, the people who are with me, the sights, sounds, tastes, textures, and scents that surround me. God can redeem the past and prepare us for the future, but Holy Love is acting at this very moment, and do I really want to miss that?
What have you learned about time? Share with us.