Reflections on time

Time is something I’m thinking about more these days than in years past. At my age there is less of it left than when I was twenty-one. I used to think that my having Multiple Myeloma would shorten it, but sixteen-plus years after diagnosis; I give very little thought to that prospect.  As so many of us do, we don’t always make the best use of it. There have been countless times in my life when I’ve gotten up in the morning with a goodly number of things on my to-do list, but later in the day laziness took over and at the end of the day I have little to show. Unlike the digital devices many of us have at our disposal, we can’t press a rewind button to take us back to the beginning of the last 24 hours, so we can redo them. God can look out on his creation and see it all, digitally with one omniscient gander. It’s not segmented for Him, yesterday, today, tomorrow; it’s all within the scope of His panorama. Our view is more analog, seeing only what’s before us at the moment. And though we can occasionally take a retrospective, we can only have effect on time at the moment.

I just came from a funeral of a young associate of mine. She was only thirty-five years old. She worked in the office from which I retired a little over two years ago. Her death was a dramatic example of death by a senseless act. Her boyfriend shot her three times in the neck and head area while they were arguing in her front yard. From the news reports I’ve heard, one of her daughters witnessed the incident. Her daughters are ages eight and fourteen. These young ladies are fine examples of good parenting. Though their mom wasn’t married; she reared them to this stage of their lives on her own. These girls are smart, beautiful and quite charming. They both spoke at their mother’s funeral; receiving a standing ovation for the intelligent and compassionate delivery of the few words they presented to honor their mom. That funeral caused me to think about time, and how those of us who are blessed to experience more of it often don’t think enough about what a gift it is.

The longer I live, the more time I have to experience a lot more God has to offer. I also have more time to see people take their exit from this plain of existence. On a recent mental inventory I took, I was surprised at the number of people I’ve personally known who are no longer available to share time with me. At the risk of being boringly redundant, I’m a Multiple Myeloma patient, and I’ve seen a good number of fellow patients take their exit. That’s understandable, though no less heart breaking. But many of the folks I used to see and will no longer see in this life existed by way of old age, accidents, and tragedy, such as the aforementioned young lady. Time offers opportunity for joy and happiness, sadness and suffering, comradery and loneliness.  It also seems that the longer God blesses us with time, the more opportunity we have to experience the more depressing hours that come with living a long, blessed life. It’s not comforting attending funerals, seeing more people leaving you here in what oftentimes seems like a growing state of loneliness. Your living longer places you in a state where your contemporaries are evaporating like mid-morning fog on a sunny summer’s day. But then you have to realize that as a believer, you are never alone. He promised He would always be with you. If you believe that, and accept Him as Lord and Savior, time and the loneliness that can come with it are not a problem.

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