There is a vast conundrum in our culture today regarding the view and use of time. Phrases like, "there is not enough time in a day," "I need to 'make' time for my family," and the like bring about this false view that time is variable and can be added to or subtracted from. It is true that our measure of time is man-made in that we have created ways to tell time, and keep track of dates, but there is a natural progression of time that cannot be captured, slowed down, or stirred up.
With the event of anti-aging creams, injections, supplements, and surgeries, we believe that we are able to slow time. However, time was never intended to be an adversary to be challenged, rather a sovereign design to progress us through our created purpose.
As the writer of Ecclesiastes puts it:
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NAS95S)
Our time here on Earth is limited. We must embrace this and understand that no matter how hard we might try, we will one day cease to exist. However, many of us live in constant denial of this fact. Think about it... We are setting ourselves up for disappointment. I would hate to get to the end of my life having always lived focusing on the past or the hypothetical future, and never enjoying the present season. We must embrace the truth that time is created to foster and carry the creation. Time isn't something that can be saved, stored, made, but rather is something that we must learn to steward.
As we see in the passage above, that our lives are full of different seasons. It is a part of life, created and intended by God. We fight so hard to move through the hard seasons, and strive to settle in the good. What if each season, both enjoyable, and tough are gifts. Yes. Even the bad seasons. There is much to be learned in all seasons of life. However, we very rarely seek to rest in all seasons, rather we press on for the next 'good' season, and ignore the many lessons that can be learned in our times of trial.
I am the first to admit that I struggle being in the present moment. I'm always looking towards what's next. There are times I am tempted to dwell on the past, both seasons of horror and seasons of great joy. However, either perspective is a dangerous trap as it keeps us from experiencing the God who is alive and active today.
Time seems to go by so much faster as we age. I remember when I was a kid in elementary school and I thought I would die if the days went any slower. However, now I look back and realize that it has been over 11 years since I graduated high school and almost 5 years since I graduated college. I have been married 6 1/2 years and my daughter is now 1 years old. Where has time gone? What have I learned? Have I enjoyed the good times and embraced the ordained hard-times? Have I let myself be trapped by memories of the past or the hopes of the future?
Will we be a people who follow Jesus in such a way that we enjoy the good seasons, and faithfully abide in the hard seasons? Or, will we be like everyone else (both Christian and non-Christian), who remember 'the good 'ol days' or ignore the present to dream of the 'better' future?
Time is passing us by... Will we seek God today with humble hearts, or miss today altogether...?
What will you do with your time?