“Time is such a slippery thing. It ticks away, neutrally, yet it also flies and collapses, and is more often lost than found. Days can feel eternal, but a month can gallop past” (Clock-watching: The Economist).
Author Alan Burdick adds, “If scientists agree on anything, it’s that nobody knows enough about time.”
What do we know about time?
We’ve seen and heard expressions like:
- “Time flies” (when you’re having fun)
- “Time stood still” (when on bended knee, he asked, “Will you marry me?”)
- “You can’t buy time” (no matter how much money you might have)
- “Make the most of this time!” (life change, college, new seasons)
- “The days go slow but the years go fast” (when you’re raising kids)
- “It seems like yesterday and forever ago, all at the same time” (universally experienced)
Expressions like these resonate with something deep in one’s soul. Whether we feel confused, anxious, elated, or sentimental, time is passing. There is no stopping it.
Here are 4 observations that can help you appreciate time as a gift, rather than a burden:
1. Time makes us feel things (if we’re present to them)
With the seconds, minutes, moments, and years that pass come diverse emotions. We feel euphoria, exasperation, and everything in-between. Though some are unpleasant, “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Not only that but God “will make everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,11). Time makes us feel things if we embrace the moments we’re in.
2. Time makes the past, present, and future a reality
Do you ever find yourself wishing you could re-live certain moments? Are you ever glad some are over? Do you feel overjoyed with what’s happening currently? Or maybe you don’t know how to make it through today? Some of us are looking forward to what’s next, while others are dreading it. Remember the past. Make the most of ‘now.’ Look to the days ahead. Intentionality and gratefulness are key.
3. Time causes us to grow (if we let it)
Stop and look back on the last few years of your life and you will be amazed at what you have experienced, felt, and done. The ordinary days and the significant ones grow us — not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually, in the best ways and the hardest ways. If we let time work it’s magic, we will learn and change. And that’s a beautiful thing.
4. Time offers opportunities (if we want them)
Time doesn’t constrain us, it gives us opportunities. Time invites us to work, eat, sleep, play, pray, spend time with others, or serve. It’s not a matter of what we must do or have to do, but what we get to do.
Time is more than numbers or hands on a watch. It’s the picture frame of our lives. It affects us daily, continually, even eternally.
Ponder these questions and comment with your answers below:
- When is the passing of time hard for you? When does it bring joy?
- How can you be more present?
- Do you think more about the past, present, or future? How might you balance them?
- How have you grown in the past 1 year? 2 years? 3 years?
- What opportunities are you seeking today? Which will you begin seeking?