time is…

As fall the leaves
So drop the days
In silence
From the tree of life.
-E. Guest

Time seems to be on the deck this week. Time flies when you’re having fun. Time flies whether you’re having fun or not. Time heals all wounds. There are many adages about time, these are the only ones I can think at the moment.

Why are we so obsessed with time? We worry about being on time, or being late. We count the days until a baby is born or a loved one dies. As children we waited with bated breath for Halloween and Christmas; as adults we probably wish the whole thing was over already so we can get back to everyday, ordinary life.

We count the hours till quitting time and the days until the weekend or a vacation. The last hour of the work day is the longest because we sit and watch the clock ticking away until we are free once again.

Animals have a different concept of time. When I leave for work in the morning I say good-bye to my furbabies, trying to pet each one before I walk out the door. They look at me like I’m crazy and then go back to their after-breakfast naps. If I come home unexpectedly I end up waking them and they are happy to see me. They aren’t aware that 2 or 4 or 8 or even 10 hours has passed. They only know that when they closed their eyes I was there and if they were especially sleepy, when they awoke I was there.

I could use my cats as an alarm clock; they pounce on me at 3 a.m., regardless of the day of week, wake me up and say feed me! That is their concept of time – their stomachs. If they get hungry they wander around looking for me; if they can’t find me then they either eat dry food or go back to sleep. They have no idea about time. They know routine and habit and get discombobulated when the routine is messed with.

Back to time – I used to wear a wristwatch, in fact I had a whole collection of them. But I found myself constantly looking at the watch for the time. I was obsessed with knowing what time of day it was. So after a few years of that, I took off the watch and have never put another one on. This was before cell-phones so I was time-conscious free as long as I wasn’t in my car. It seemed like so much freedom.

Then cell-phones came along and with it a clock. Time to carry around in my purse or pocket. Now I look at the phone too much. I constantly look at the little clock in the corner of the computer screen. When I drive I look at the clock on the dashboard a lot. Why am I possessed with knowing what time it is all the time?

I have no idea. Maybe it’s just a habit. Maybe I really am obsessed. Maybe I am secretly and silently counting my days until the last leaf falls. Maybe I am over worried about this time-watching business. I don’t know.

What I do know is that God is Timeless. He created time and He will ultimately bring time to an end for all of creation and for me way before that. What I do know is that I need to stop watching the clock and to not allow my life to be frittered away by meaningless and mindless activity.

Time is short, so is my life. I need to make the most of it while I am present on this earth. Sitting around watching the clock or counting the days until some event is not making the most of life. Be aware of time but not possessed by it. Time is a partner and a gift, not a taskmaster.


Walking Lesson by Jacek Yerka


faith of a child

Backward, turn backward
O Time in your flight;
Make me a child again
Just for tonight.
-Elizabeth Akers Allen

No matter how hard we wish, time – for humans – only goes in one direction, forward. There is no turning back the clock, no do-overs, nothing can be done about the lost hours. By the same token, nothing really can be done about the future. We can plan and save, get an education and buy insurance, but that won’t stop the future from not unfolding the way we wanted it to or the way we had it planned.

When I think about being childlike, or like the poem says “Make me a child again/Just for tonight” I don’t think of actually becoming a child physically but having the faith and belief of a child. Children have a way of just accepting things without question for a brief time. And as with the natural progression towards maturity, they start to question and rebel. But for a few short years, they will believe anything you tell them. The more fantastic, the more they believe it!

When my eldest nephew was very young, maybe 3 or 4, he spent a lot of time with me on the weekends. One weekend day we went to the local botanical gardens to wander among trees and bushes and flowers. We came upon a ‘fairy ring’ – or a group of mushrooms growing in a circle. I started to tell him a story about how the fairies lived in the ring and up under the mushrooms. We got down on our knees to look under the caps to find the fairies and he was very upset that we didn’t see any. Now another child might have imagined seeing them. But not my nephew – he sees only what is right there in front of him. He has a vivid imagination but for him reality is far more exciting.

My point is that he believed – really believed – because I had told him it was real. (I admit that it scared me a little because of his willingness to believe. I was far more cautious in the future when telling him stories.) And that is the child I want to be again. Someone who truly believes because it has been said. That may seem to be naïve but sometimes life is hard when you are skeptical about everything.

Like when I doubt God and his Presence in my life. Like when I feel like everything is going to turn out okay but I worry anyway.

Why can I not simply believe? The way a child believes in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus or Jesus. If I could turn back the clock, for just one night, it would be that, to be able to simply believe.


Children Coming to Jesus by John Lautermilch

reprioritizing my day and/or life

We turn not older with age, but newer every day.
–Emily Dickenson

This morning I woke an hour earlier than I needed to and decided to get up anyway. I really didn’t do anything extra with that time – just sat in front of the computer and & tv – which has helped me to realize I need to reorder my life.

I’ve always been a dreamer – mostly about being self-sufficient monetarily-wise. Being self-employed I could set my own pace, work till 1 am if I felt like it and sleep till 10 the next morning. Those are the fantasies of a dreamer. There have been so many ideas that have come to me about how I could earn my own living; some of them I have half-heartedly worked on; others I haven’t even tried. I still have a couple percolating in my brain right now that I could do if only I had the time.

Well, this wasted hour from this morning showed me I do have time. I need but reorder and reprioritize my day. That is so easy to say but difficult to do – especially when I realize that means giving up idle time spent in front of the TV or playing games on the computer. When I think – really think and be honest with myself – that is where most of my off time goes. After the chores are done there is more than enough time to put my dreams into action. But how badly do I want it? Bad enough to change such a massive part of my time? I think I do. Maybe.

For a while now there has been a niggling feeling in the back of my brain about having my cable disconnected (but keeping the internet!). At first I thought it was related to my constant financial need. I really could do with an extra $35 a month (I only have basic cable). But I have avoided it because I am a TV addict. Even when I am not watching it directly it is on. I leave it on all day for the cats to have some noise in the house while I’m gone.

I have wonderful excuses for keeping the cable – favorite TV shows, keeping up with the news and weather, movies, specials, so on and so forth. But I am coming to realize that the TV is a time-vampire. It is sucking all the time out of my life and I am just lying there, letting it happen.

Yes, I know from ‘whence cometh’ this thought of cutting off the time-vampire. And I have asked Him for the strength to do it. I don’t want to just grow old. I want to do what Miss Dickinson said, and grow “newer every day.” The only way for me to truly do that is to move forward and stop living inside my head or the TV (or boob-tube or idiot-box or??).

Oh, and, yes, if I cut off the head of this particular vampire, will it come back with twice as many like the mythical hydra? (e.g. internet gaming is also a terrible time vampire.) Maybe, maybe not. But I will deal with that issue when and if the time arrives.

Right now, I need to deal with this specific time-vampire. All I need do now is to pick-up the phone and call the cable company. Well, that’s not truly accurate. I have called the cable folks to disconnect. But as I waited and waited and waited to speak to a human and not a disembodied voice, I got frustrated and hung up. And haven’t tried since.

So it isn’t as easy for me to do this one thing as I think. But I will continue to try and soon, very soon – I hope and pray, with God’s Grace and Strength, I will be successful.



The Internet is a Time Suck by John Saddington (check out his article!)