What’s the deal with… time?

Lately I’ve been thinking about time.

Ronin came home from the hospital on Friday, January 19. He’s been home for almost four weeks now. He just turned eight months. I know these are both facts. So why is it that half of my brain thinks he was only born days ago, while the other half feels like this last year lasted several lifetimes?

Time is fascinating. The nature of time is a big mystery in science and philosophy, leaving great minds like Aristotle, Newton, and Einstein questioning what time even is – an actual reality of the physical world, or an artificial construct of the human mind? In the fifth century, St. Augustine remarked that “time itself was made by God” a finite time ago, although God exists outside of time (St. Augustine on Time). 

I’m treading over waters too deep for my understanding, so let me steer this thing back to practicality and my personal experience with time.

I’ve noticed that sometimes time flies by, like the other day when I realized that this June celebrates my 20-year high school reunion! (Uf.) Sometimes time crawls, like the 20 minutes of death I’ve felt every time I’ve attempted an Airdyne workout. And then sometimes time must literally exist on a flat circle, like when I’ve gone back to watch Seinfeld reruns and have realized that Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer will FOREVER be decades older than I am (even though I might now be older??).

There’s also this phenomenon: time seems to move molasses-slow when you’re a kid, and waaay too fast as you get older.

Why?

Maybe it’s relativity? A week for a four-year-old represents much more of her life than a week does in my life, which makes time seem slower for her and faster for me.

Another theory on time seeming to move at different speeds is that our brains lump time together when days and weeks are similar. For a typical kid, life is filled with new discoveries, achievements, and adventure – and that excitement generates a fuller experience of time. For a typical adult, life can easily slip into a comfortable routine week in, week out – but that monotony merges in our memory, days blend into weeks, weeks blend into years, and we lose track of where our life went.

Regardless of the theory, I know for a fact that I’ve wasted A LOT of time.

In my youth, I walked in rebellion and put time towards selfish ambitions. I let blessings turn my heart inward, I allowed the world to direct my path. But even as I’ve grown in Christ, I’ve often taken for granted the blessing of each day I’m given. I’ve spent years of my life in vain, chasing after comforts or my desires or what I think is right, resistant to the Lord’s calling for my life and how He wants me to use the time He’s given me.

“Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.” Psalm 90:12 (CEV)

In Psalm 90:12, Moses prays that God would enable His people to live a significant life by making wise use of all the time we have. The psalm seems to have been composed as the older generation of Israelites who had left Egypt were dying off in the wilderness (Numbers 14).

Imagine 40 years on a journey that should have only lasted 11 days (Deuteronomy 1:2-3). God freed His people from Egypt, they had witnessed miracles, and He had promised them the Land of Canaan, but those in the older generation were victims of their own unbelief and were never able to enter God’s rest and the fullness He had available. Instead of trusting God, they wandered aimlessly and chose to grumble, worry, rebel, and forget.

It must be residual Seinfeld on my brain, but this scene just came to mind. Grumble, Worry, Rebel, and Forget…

Okay so, what’s the deal with time?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m working to shift my perspective towards time.

I want my priorities to be in agreement with God’s so that I’m making the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:15-16). I don’t want to spin my wheels on a hedonic treadmill or spend any more time with a grumbling spirit, stagnant in disobedience.

I want to use wisely all the time, talents, and resources I’ve been given so I may further God’s kingdom on earth and store up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).

I want to keep in mind that life in this world is so brief. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and today shouldn’t be taken for granted (James 4:14). To not waste time, I need to be intentional about how I’m using it: not being slothful, not drowning in busyness. I’m seeking His wisdom so that I can dedicate all the remaining time I have to a higher purpose.

I want to remember that it’s not “my time,” it’s His.

4 Comments

  1. Reading this was time well spent.

  2. I do not even know how I ended up here but I thought this post was great I dont know who you are but definitely youre going to a famous blogger if you arent already Cheers.

    1. Thank you so much, your encouragement coming right now is such a blessing.

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