Taking Time to Put Time in Perspective
Early this morning our family of five was sitting at our breakfast table and my wife and I were explaining something to our kids that caused me to think deeper. We have recently returned from a road trip and some of the souvenirs that we brought back for the kids were cups with the printed logo of the park that we stayed in. The fun part about the cups was that they change color when you pour cold liquid into them. To explain further how it worked, I told them to put the cups in the fridge for a while and see what happens. My youngest put hers in and impatiently opened the door after a few short seconds. I recommended that she wait a few minutes, five to be exact, and in return she proclaimed “FIVE WHOLE MINUTES? THAT IS FOREVER!” At first I laughed and then it made me think.
It is interesting in life how there are moments where time seems to take “FOREVER!” (off topic, but I said this as I typed it in remembrance of the movie The Sandlot when the story of the legend of the beast was told), and other times it seems like time is flying by. What causes this phenomenon? Certainly time is moving at a constant pace, but there are circumstances that lead to our experience of the passing of time that make it feel shorter or longer.
At a basic level (knowing that there are other factors) I can think in my own life that when time seems to be taking forever it is usually because I am looking forward to something. Christmas, vacations, mission trips, and my children’s births all seemed to have taken “FOREVER.” (yep, in the voice again) In most of these circumstances the time seemed to get slower the closer it approached, especially the birth of children (so I was told).
At the same time, every time I see my children walk through the house it hits me that they have grown so much and I wonder where the time has gone. Have you ever heard from those older than you that time goes faster the older you get? Why is that? I suggest that in my own experience, time seems to go faster when I am trying to hold on to something.
It would make simplistic sense then, that if I am looking forward to something MORE than I am seeking to hold on to something, then time would go slower as I get older. If I put this in spiritual terms, then I would say if my desire for Heaven is greater than my desire for earthly existence, then I would be more aware of the slowness of time rather than the fleeting of time.
According to Scripture “you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14) So no matter how much we try to slow down the hands of time they are always short. As believers, we are told that Christ’s return is imminent and that we should make the most of our time (Ephesians 5:16) and to live in preparation for His return (Luke 12:35-40).
So how do we make the most of our time and prepare for Christ’s return? Paul writes that we should “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). Paul outlines how we can do this by giving a quick orientation to our new selves (Colossians 3:1-17). I believe that this is the hardest thing for us in this technological age.
The believer is inundated with distraction of the world that it is near impossible to think on the reality of eternity.
So, when is the last time that you enjoyed the slowness of gazing at Jesus and desiring to be with Him? Eternity is now. Don’t wait to start living in it.
Do you want to slow down the hands of time? Ask God to put the desire for Heaven in your heart and set your mind to it. The desire should burn hotly in us so that we are homesick for our home in Heaven. (2 Corinthians 5:1-10) May we live our lives with the same tension that Paul has in his heart in Philippians 1:21-24 saying that “my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better,” and also acknowledging that God has work for us to do while we are still here. The more you desire it, the longer it will seem that it arrives. Regardless, Heaven is near.
Obedience is mine. The Results are His.