Time...Be careful what you ask for


Photo by Tom Magliery

Time…Be careful what you ask for


October. Almost time to set our clocks back…again…Time…flies…faster and faster…I turned 61 a month ago, and we’re almost 10 months through another year. I don’t know about you, but time is relative for me. At 61, a year is barely one-and-a-half percent (there’s my old-math-teacher self raising its head again…) of my life. When I was 10, a year was ten percent of my life. Isn’t Einstein’s theory of relativity buried in there somewhere?

When I was young

I couldn’t wait for time to speed up…

I remember, when I was maybe 11 or 12 years old. There were some “cute girls” vacationing in our town for the summer. Some guys 6 or 7 years older than me were courageous enough to talk to them. Not me. I remember thinking, “I can’t wait to be 17, so I could ‘have a chance’ to talk with or date girls like that.” Time couldn’t move fast enough when I was 11. Youth…I could pine with the nostalgic thought, “Oh, to be young again…”

In much the same way I longed for time to speed up when I was 11, I long for time to slow down at 61. Do you ever play the “If only” game? If only we had the house paid off…If only I could make it to retirement…We (I) often try to speed up the clock. Time for a good reminder:

Be careful what you ask for!

Try as I might, I can’t do either one – speed time up or slow it down. So, what to do on the horns of this dilemma? As one guy I read and listen to says,

Live within the grace of one day!

While that is easier said than done, taking one day at a time has its merits. No worries about the future. No hand-wringing over what’s behind us. For young-uns, TIME, at times, can’t move fast enough. Now, for us MATURE (read “old”) ones, TIME, at times can’t move slowly enough…

St. Paul once wrote that he had LEARNED the secret of contentment. That SECRET was not self-evident. For him, it had to do with material wealth. I think he’d wrestled with ENOUGH and come to the conclusion that

Enough = what I have.

Nothing more. Period. End of story. 

What if that same “secret” is there to learn regarding time? I have this moment. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. The past I cannot change. I’ve got now. Isn’t this the meaning of Carpe Diem?

So, as opposed to wanting time to speed up…or for it to slow down…

What if time is as it should be?

Just enough. Can I be content with the time I’ve got and live within the rhythms of life in such a way that I can stop and smell roses, listen to my child or grandchild’s recollection of their day, or pause to give thanks for this day, this moment. Gratitude and generosity combat the thief that would rob us of this moment. Hurry is such a thief.  Another wise man named Dallas Willard once shared:

You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry…

I want to try and live out my days applying that wisdom. How about you?









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