Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

“Does anybody really know what time it is, does anybody really care?” Remember this classic song from Chicago? I had occasion to ponder a bit on the concept of time lately.  We tend to think of time in a linear fashion.  We plan our day from morning to night, set goals for the week, then the month, the year, a five-year plan, and so on.  Once we have kids, we establish a time line for how their lives should go. We end it all by planning our retirement and then the steps to be followed when we die.  That’s not bad, but I think we miss an important perspective if we leave it there.

We recently had a family gathering – a celebration. It felt like a microcosm of life.  There was a new baby and several folks in their nineties; some young married couples and those who had lost a beloved spouse; teenagers getting ready for high school or those entering their college years; folks who were in the job market and those who had found their dream position; individuals who were healthy, those recovering, and those who actually couldn’t make it due to a severe illness or disability.  I interacted with new people and those I see all the time.  I delighted in reacquainting with friends I had not seen for over 30 years.

I had the strangest sensation that I was looking at life from above, seeing the whole picture rather than the chapters unfold. It was as if I had seen the play and loved it, rather than singling out or remembering each act.  The feeling was similar to funerals I have attended when a life is summed up in a five-minute power point presentation of historical slides and then it ends.  That’s it folks.  That was the story of his life.

I think that’s how God must see our lives—the pieces are moving, the puzzle is coming together, and the whole picture will be revealed when our story ends. We might do well to not get too distressed when we don’t reach everything according to our time line.  I’m not sure it matters all that much.

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