Have you ever awakened one morning and realized that time has sped up? Well, at least it seemed to have done so. If this hasn’t happened to you, I would venture to say that you haven’t lived long enough. I can bet you that if you just keep living, this critical moment will arrive. We all know that time doesn’t speed up; there have been twenty-four hours in each day, and three-hundred sixty-five days in each year since I’ve been around. Oh, don’t forget the .25 day in each year that accumulates to a full day every four years.
Time has had its peddle-to-the-meddle moment for me. When did it happen? I can’t say exactly, because there has been a mixture of circumstances to which I could probably point. Two of these altering factors have been a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma seventeen years ago, and my achieving the age of sixty-six last year. Most folks I talk with about the topic of time shifting into high gear, attribute the imaginary phenomenon to them looking in the mirror one morning and realizing, “I’m old.” It seems reaching a certain chronological point on the age scale, or being saddled with a serious chronic illness can cause you to think, “I have far less time left than I’ve lived.” It’s at that point that time becomes of much more value. You are prone to think about all the things you haven’t done and the shortened amount of time you have left to accomplish them.
Just what are some of those things you might not have done? This question can generate images of a challenging bucket list, chalked with things you probably wouldn’t have done anyway, except for the threat of imminent transference to the next plain of existence, a.k.a., death. But let’s not go there. Let’s operate more down to earth. What about a list of things that are much more achievable, and possibly just as challenging as climbing Mount Everest? Have you got some relationships with family and friends that have been limping along for years, even worse -completely broken? Don’t you think it would be great to leave this life with all relationships of value to you in perfect working order, or at least working better than they are now. What about your spiritual life? If you have a head knowledge of your creator (in my case the Triune God of Christianity), don’t you want to feel more connected, more in line with how God wants you to operate? My faith heritage tells me that meeting your maker face to face will be a harrowing experience if you haven’t done your best at keeping His commandments on this side. If you think on it for a little while, you’ll discover a host of other down to earth, relatively easy items you can put on your more achievable bucket list. These things have value and you just might feel like a better human being for accomplishing most if not all of them.
The late Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN, the Catholic Television Network, was known to believe that time is our greatest gift from God. While watching one of her YouTube videos, I heard her say that. I was a bit confused at first because I had always thought that life was the greatest gift from God; however, I considered the fact that all we experience is encased in this thing called time. Without the gift of time God gave us when He stepped out of eternity to create all that we see and don’t, life would have no framework for operating. That’s a bit too deep for me; I’ll leave that alone. I think you know what I’m trying to say. The bottom line is that I think we’re all wired to appreciate the importance of time. Unfortunately, most of us don’t develop a sincere appreciation for it, some existential understanding of it, until we feel the clock winding down. It’s at that point that time grows wings, takes flight, and we are challenged in our efforts to keep up with it. The hard truth is time marches on at the pace it always has, we just have less of it to do what we feel we need, and want to do.
Here are some hard truths young folks could benefit from: They don’t have as much time as they think they have. They will get old quicker than they think they will. They may not live to a ripe old age. If they do get old, their bodies might be riddled with sickness. There are many more truths I could list; however, I’ll close the list with this one: James 4:14, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
Time…maybe we should treat it like the most valuable emerald it is, because it just might grow wings some day?
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.