Time for one of my more abstract ponderings. Time really is difficult to get your head around when you start to ponder it. As I type Phil is in America, five hours behind the UK so he is just thinking about what to do before his lunch whilst I am typing this not long from tea time and our son Paul living in Australia is ‘hopefully’ tucked up in bed ten hours ahead having completed this day. The sun is shining, for a change, here but heading for the horizon, shining in the middle of the sky for Phil and nowhere to be seen for Paul. Weird to say the least.
Before we had the clocks I understand sun dials were the way to decide what the time was and before that it really was a case of where the sun and moon were but even that needed clear instruction as they would appear at different points depending on the seasons, complicated thing time.
The time of day really dictates so much of our lives, I wonder how many of us have clocks on our walls and in how many rooms as well as wrist watches and other ways to tell us the time, on the bottom of the computer screen, clock towers out in the street, even the front of the DVD player tells the time. How much of what we do is controlled by the clock. It is said that Western society moves so quickly, running to time of the tick tock from the alarm clock to the checking if it is time to go to bed yet. When I worked full time as a solicitor we had to record every six minutes of time spent in the office in order to bill each client according to time spent on their matter, not the only profession that needs to keep an eye on the clock. How many times a day do we check the clock to either hope the day ends a bit quicker or slow down. Certainly whilst Phil is away I am hoping for time to speed up but he is no doubt hoping it would slow down so he can enjoy every minute. Shame we haven’t got that translocation stuff sorted.
What would my world look like if I said I would get up when I woke up, met folk for lunch when I was hungry and went to bed when I was tired? Chaos probably. So does the clock bring us closer to order or does it control our every minute. I didn’t wear a watch for a few years on the basis that I was surrounded by them having one on my wrist seemed unnecessary but now I am no longer in an office I find I can lose track of time easily and looking out of the window for the sun is not the most effective way to tell the time.
My ponderings on time lead to me to think about time for God who is beyond time, outside of time, the creator of days and nights. As he knows the end from the beginning, considers a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day and he does not grow old or change then how does time affect him? I doubt in the same way as the ticking of a clock but he is involved in the times we live in, he knows when I wake, when I sleep and to the timing of the outworking of his plans for the earth. We say he has perfect timing because he knows exactly what we need when we need it. Jesus said the time had come, the Kingdom of God was at hand, so clearly God is involved in time but not in the same way as how I work out my day. As we are his children can we have a view of time that it is not there to control us but is an assistant to it? Can we avoid running our day according to the time on the clock and live to a different sort of time, perhaps responding to the whisper that knows how the day will end more rather than wondering if we can fit Him in at all?
Living and moving to a different rhythm other than the tick tock. Perhaps learning to live and move in the unforced rhythm of grace.