Our Futile Struggle Against Time

Time just keeps flying by, doesn’t it? Time is such a weird thing. Sometimes it seems a hour, a day, a week, can take forever, especially when we are waiting for something good to happen. Then other times we say things like “I can’t believe how fast this month has flown by.” And of course, the older we get, the faster time seems to fly by.

I remember thinking when I was a child that the world would end before I was able to get my driver’s license, graduate high school, get married, have kids, etc. Do you remember having those thoughts too? I also remember hearing the “old folks” (who in reality were then about my age now) talking about how time seemed to pass by faster and faster with each passing year. I remember thinking they were probably on the verge of some sort of old folks’ disease that obviously affected their thinking! hahahahahaaha

Now I find myself puzzled with where all the time goes and hear myself say to my other “old folk” friends, “Can you believe how time seems to speed up every year?” And I imagine there is some kid overhearing that conversation thinking we are just confused old folks! hahahahhahahaha

The real issue is that none of us have a guarantee of what tomorrow holds for us. None of us know how many breaths we have remaining in this life. But what we do know for certain is that time is flying by at record speed, and every minute spent can never be recaptured. We say things like, “Can you believe it is 2021?” “Can you believe it is tax time already?” “Can you believe school is out already?” “Can you believe summer is halfway over?” And so go the conversations year after year.

Even though this phenomenon happens every year to each of us, we always seem surprised by it. It is like we think that somehow, we will get ahead of the curve next year. Somehow, we will be able to control the pace of our calendar and get everything done we plan to accomplish. But it never happens. Life just keeps on coming like relentless waves constantly crashing against the shore.

Life happens. Good and bad, great and horrible, average and extraordinary, boring and exciting, complex and simple. Life just keeps on coming at the same relentless pace of 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days a year, 24 hours per day, 60 minutes per hour, 60 seconds per minute…over and over again.

It is so easy to get so caught up in the pace of life that we forget to really live. Our priorities get all confused and we find ourselves “running on fumes”. Jesus would say that our absolute highest priority is to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and that our second highest priority would be to love our neighbor as ourselves. The “rat race” is not our friend. It will destroy us if it is left unchecked and unbalanced.

Every breath we breathe, every minute we spend takes us one minute closer to our last breath and our last minute on this earth. Rest when it is time to rest. Work hard when it is time to work. Play when it is time to play. Laugh when it is time to laugh. Cry with it is time to cry. But always remember that minute spend can never be recaptured. Make every opportunity count.

Be Kind. Be Generous. Be Grateful. (or Stop Being a Jerk)

Like many people, I am thinking “Its 2017 already?! How did that happen?” It is amazing how fast every year seems to fly by as it marches to the never-ending cadence of time. Time is the one thing we have no control over. It just keeps on marching along. We will blink and it will be summer. Throughout history time has continued to march on at a unrelenting pace.

2016 was a year of greatly increased social media negativity. I suppose partly due to the election process, but more due to people just being jerks. Just because you can rant doesn’t mean you should rant. Even if you were right, you were just a jerk who happened to be right.  Some people should keep their opinions on divisive topics to themselves. All their rant did was create more unnecessary drama and damage, and make them look bad in the process.

Their rant didn’t empower them, it only displayed their weakness.  It did not enhance their personhood or meaningful influence, it only lessened both.  Any dingbat can create drama. What we need are peacemakers and unifiers willing to work through hard issues together for a common good.

As we enter 2017, my plan for myself, and my wish for you in this new year is simple. Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, spend time thinking and evaluating our lives, and then that we intentionally express our gratitude and love to those in your circle of relationships. I wish you the ability to slow down enough to remember, think, and love.

As we move into 2017, I am filled with hope. I could list so many things that I see on the horizon in my personal life, my church’s life, and in the life of our community. I would not consider myself an eternal optimist, but I am filled with hope.

To boil it down to a simple thought, my hope for the new year is that we all choose to be kind, work together for the common good, and give credit to others. I hope 2017 is a kinder, more unified, more generous year.

It sounds so easy, but many in our society at the national level, and at the local level, have forgot how to simply be kind to one another. Our nation needs healing, not more verbal wounds right now. We can speak life or speak death. We get to make that choice. I hope we just remember how simple it is to be kind.

I hope we remember how important it is to get along and work together if we want to accomplish anything that matters. Those who seek to divide us are not our friends. They have self-serving personal agendas that they place a higher value on that the health and well-being of our community.

I hope we remember the importance of giving credit to others. None of us succeed without countless “others” helping us along the way. Needing credit or taking credit is not attractive. It’s actually a sign of weakness.

Get some rest. Spend time thinking, evaluating, being kind, and being generous. I am filled with hope that 2017 is going to be an amazing year!