Perspectives on Time

Your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it is gone. — excerpt James 4:14 (NLT)

It seems that I am being drawn towards different perspectives.   Last week, you will have read about the different perspective I had on a lake that I had known for around five decades, a lake that I had walked around maybe hundreds of times, a lake that had always been a special place full of peace and tranquillity and beauty, and a lake that I never knew was shaped almost like a perfect heart!   It took a change of perspective to see it that way.

When I took the photograph that goes along with this week’s writing, it looked completely different to what you can see now.   It was rather dull, underexposed, and colourless.   However, as I used my photo editing software to improve the lighting, all these colours emerged.   The mist over the water had a mystical (pardon the pun) orange appearance, the trees seemed to glow a luminous green, and the bank of the river appeared a beautiful bright purple.   You may think that it’s rather an unnatural colour now, but that is just a perspective.   When I saw these colours appear, I thought to myself, “Wow, what more can our natural eyes not see?”   The colours were already there, they haven’t been painted on; but they were only drawn out by a process that our eyes could not perform.   How different nature must look to other creatures.

Over the last week or so, my attention has been drawn to a different perspective on time.   It’s been said that our lives are just like the morning mist – here for a little while only, and then it vanishes.   It’s as if it hadn’t ever been there at all.   And, in the grand scheme of things, in the shadow of the passing of the last 2,000 years since the birth of Christ, a mere lifetime – even if we are blessed to be given over and above our three score years and ten, even if we live to over a hundred – our lives will vanish like the morning mist.   Who remembers anyone who lived 150 years ago?  

And if our life is merely mist that vanishes, why do we fret so much about each moment?   When we are in school, we worry about whether we will get into college or whether we will get a job or a career that we enjoy.   When we are in college, we worry about whether we will find a spouse or a partner and live a happy life together?   When we are married, we worry about whether we will have kids.   When we have kids, we worry about the kids and how their lives will turn out.   When they leave home, we worry about our later life, and whether we will manage, and wonder what happened to all those days when the kids were still at home.   They were the “good old days.”

Someday, today will be the “good old days.”

And someday, the mist of time will have blown away, and our days will be done.  

There is a quote by Leo Buscaglia, author of ‘Living, Loving and Learning,’ that goes, “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”   But it’s not just worry, it’s distraction.   I heard today that the average person looks at their mobile devices over 2,000 times in a day.   We all do it, don’t we?   When we’re in the room with someone and the phone buzzes, we look.   When we’re listening to someone speaking and the phone makes a ping, we look.   We read messages on our phone more than we listen to the person speaking.

Or is it just me?   I know that I am guilty, and I’m sorry.   I’m sorry to the person in the room, that my attention was not in the room.    I’m sorry that I thought that the message on my phone from someone miles away might have been more important than what the person right in front of me was saying.   I’m sorry that my mind has not been present where my feet were physically.   I’m sorry that I missed the point, I’m sorry that I missed the moment, I’m sorry that I was missing.

Time.   Once that grain of sand has fallen through the timer, we cannot recover it back.   We cannot turn back the tide of time.   It goes on relentlessly, whether we are present in the moment or not.   Blink, and the moment has gone.   And it might have been an important moment.  

Time.   It’s the only real commodity that we have, from birth to the moment that it runs out; we only have time.   How will we spend our time?   We all have days when we say, “I wish I had more time.”   And many of us look back on our lives and say, “I wish I had spent the time differently.”

Time.   We cannot rewind and we cannot fast forward.   We only have this very moment, the present moment in time.   And how do we spend it?   We often spend our present moments regretting the past or worrying about the future!   Let’s, instead, focus on today.   Right now, this moment in time.

Jesus, during His short time on earth, had an extremely important mission to fulfil.   Yet we read that He never worried about being interrupted.   He was never in too much of a rush to stop and speak with someone who had stopped Him when He was on His way to be somewhere, to do something, to carry out His important work and mission; He always stopped, always listened, and always engaged with that and in that moment in time.   When He’s on a journey with many miles to go, He was always willing to stop and speak, and to be gracious with everyone who had interrupted Him.   How are you doing?   I get frustrated at the least delay on my journeys, even when I’m not going anywhere of importance!   How are you doing?

Jesus said:

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.   Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Matthew 6:34 (NLT)

Maybe that’s the example we could all follow, as we try to be present in every moment, and every moment of time we try to spend in the present, and not thinking or worrying about the past or the future?

May we pray?

Thank You, heavenly Father, that you have given us the gift of time.   Help us realise that we are merely mist, here today and gone tomorrow.   Help us use the time we have wisely.   Help us to be present in every moment, to avoid distractions and to be present, not just physically but with our full attention.   May Your Holy Spirit help us be present in this way.   This we pray in the name of Jesus.

Amen.


If you’re struggling for time right now, or are often distracted from what’s important around us, we would like to pray for you – please get in touch. We would love to hear what you think. Leave a comment here, or on Socail Media. May God Bless You, and we hope to see you soon.

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