Thursday

The thing about time

Time.

Have you noticed that there isn't much to go around - especially if you're doing something fun?

On the other hand, time seems to drag when you're doing something that is not fun.

With that, I haven't said anything that hasn't been thought or said in any office or school room in America. Yet, time is one of our greatest commodities, and we don't know how much time we have.

The other day I was having a great time in my work room crafting some new boxes that I'm going to feature on Monday. I've changed the size because now I can make them on my new Sizzix Big Shot Pro Die Cutting machine. I love this new toy. Time flies when I'm using it.

When I was done with my work downstairs I went upstairs and noticed that it was 7 p.m. I couldn't believe it. In fact, I griped about it to my son. And then I pouted a bit because the weekend was over.

Have you ever noticed how quickly weekends fly by?

I've griped plenty about that.

Well, now I will try to stop, because I realized that I was being a bit greedy. Here I am with a great work room, supplies, 24 hours in a day and I'm griping because the hours I spent having a good time and actually being productive flew by. I should have been grateful for the hours and that there was still time to do other things before I had to go to bed.

Is it possible to actually be greedy about time? Does this sound preposterous?

The other night I was reading a selection from "The Dark Night of the Soul," written back in the mid-1500s by St. John of the Cross.  He noted that it is actually possible to be greedy for spiritual things - to want more than God is willing to give at the time, and to be impatient with God for not giving us what we want when we want it. We can be greedy for the good feelings we have when we spend time with God  -- so much so that we get angry or worry that we did something wrong when they do not occur. We can be so greedy that we actually begin to practice spirituality for ourselves and not for God's sake.

That's pretty weighty, I thought. Yet I've felt that way, and like St. John says, the best thing for me was to go through was a time of darkness, of unfeeling, so that God could wipe the greediness from my heart. Have you ever gone through that? Perhaps the most significant modern examples of this is in Mother Theresa, who describes her 'dark night of the soul' in "Come Be My Light."

And so we go back to time. I am not the only one who complains about it. I am not the only one who longs for more. After all, it is difficult to watch time pass - to watch a loved one grow old and know that the end is imminent, to watch the kids grow up and leave, to watch the dog get gray and realize that he won't be around forever. It's difficult to let vacation time go. None of us really wants to go back to work. It's difficult to watch people move and realize that we will not have as much time with them as we originally thought.

With these life events taking place, we realize that time is in limited quantity and there's not much we can do about it. That is, except enjoy it; we need to embrace every minute - even the not-so-fun minutes. Yes, even those moments can add up into something meaningful if we pay attention. Even tragedy, through time, can be resolved. Although we may never completely heal, we can still find meaning in life and trust God for the rest.