As I was writing this, I had just flipped the calendar over to a new month — August. The coming of August generally signals for me that the summer is slipping away. Maybe this is a result of living my life in Canada; the days of summer seem more precious. I tend to want to make the most of the warm months before the next winter sets in. One of the consequences of this is a desire for more time in the summer or that the time will go more quickly during the coldest parts of winter. Oh, if only we could determine the speed of time. Have you ever sat doing something either insignificant or mindless and then realized that a couple of hours had passed? In those situations I have sometimes heard the phrase, “well there’s time I won’t get back.” The truth is that no matter how we spend our time, we don’t get those hours back. Even the suggestion that we “spend” time suggests that we can control it or “save” time. We can’t! I do not say this in a pessimistic or defeatist way but rather as a way of recognizing the reality of time. The fact is that we cannot control time any more than we can create more of it. What we can do is live in the time we have.
And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to your span of life? — Matthew 6:27
It is easy to be caught up in worry about the passing of time but in the end that just diminishes the quality of that time without adding a single hour or even minute to it. Many years ago I heard a song by James Taylor that included the line, “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.” At the time I was at a stage of life when I was continually looking forward to “tomorrow.” The song was a sort of epiphany that has stuck with me ever since.
More recently I have also come to understand God inviting us to be present in time with God. Rest in the time we have and rest in God’s presence. I believe that opening ourselves to the presence of God is the way to experience and enjoy the fullness and beauty of time.
Being present with God also means being fully present with those around us — the people and our environment. For me being present in nature, noticing the trees and plants, birds and animals, and even insects, helps me recognize God’s presence and abide in that time. Maybe that really is the “secret of life.
But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. — 2 Peter 3:8