Article in Stretton Focus, January 2017
At the beginning of a New Year, we might become more aware of time’s winged chariot hurrying near.
Time is passing, because that’s what time does – too quickly for some us! There is a time to be born and a time to die and in between is the time to live. That’s where we have to come to terms with the reality of life, and try to live as fully as we can.
Time is a great mystery; but it’s not a mystery to be solved. We can’t solve it, and we shouldn’t try, for we don’t have the equipment. We live ‘in time’ and we can’t ‘step out’ to observe and analyse it. So we’d better ‘step into it’ as best we can: step into the mystery, and make the most of the time we have.
For our convenience we divide time into time past; time present and time future. But if we do stop and think about it for a minute, we will realise that time past has gone; the future doesn’t yet exist and that the only real time we have is NOW.
It was ‘now’ when we did something yesterday; and it will be ‘now’ when we do something tomorrow. We only live in the ‘now’, and so the present moment is all we have.
From a religious point of view, it will always be ‘now’. That’s God’s time, always ‘now’; never past and never future; always ‘now’, or in other words ‘eternal’.
But we are not God! We are aware of passing time. Nevertheless, we might occasionally have experiences when time seems to stop, and we are fully absorbed in the ‘now’; giving us a foretaste of eternal life.
St. Paul tells of having such experiences of ‘heaven on earth’. But more importantly he tells us that NOW is the day of salvation.
This means that at any moment we can leave the past behind and step into the future; and with God’s blessing begin to ‘fill the unforgiving minute with 60 second’s worth of distance run’ as Rudyard Kipling nicely puts it in the poem IF.
For us, time is indeed passing, but you are not helplessly shackled to it. You can enter more fully into each ‘present moment’; and start to enjoy the freedom and responsibility of living ‘at one’ with God.