As fall the leaves
So drop the days
From the tree of life.
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.