Take a look at these two pictures. My wife snapped them at the same spot in Dinosaur Valley State Park six years apart. Aside from the obvious size difference in my children, you’ll notice the baby fat on my son’s arms has disappeared, replaced with lean muscles from playing mega hours of tennis. My daughter’s cherubic figure has been replaced with that of a young girl. And my hair looks decidedly, um, lighter.
Moments like these remind me of the relentless motion of time. And the constant battle I have to wage against our modern era’s unhealthy view that time is a commodity. That it’s the enemy. Or that it must be strictly managed in order that we can be more productive.
Because these notions lead us to the same mistake with time that some of the ancient Jews made with the concept of the Sabbath during the fleeting days of Jesus. As the author of the Cloud of Unknowing wrote in an age far from now, “Time is made for us; we’re not made for time.” He explains, “God, the giver of time, never gives us two moments simultaneously; instead, he gives them to us one after another. We never get the future. We only get the present moment.”
And it’s the present moment that all too often gets squandered.