10th January 2021
Time is a precious gift...
This is the scripture we chose for our youngest daughter at her birth. How time has flown by - she has just celebrated her 21st birthday during lock down. Not the best time for a party!
This made me consider time. How do we define time and what is it? Neuropsychologically we perceive time and store it as images and other sensory input, also helping us to lay down memories. Physically physicists tell us that time is very relative. It depends where we are in relation to others as to how time passes for us as opposed to others, with a different fixed point. Space/time, mass and the speed of light are all linked, and time is not the absolute measure we think and experience it to be.
For many of us currently in lock down this is also true – even if only from a more neuropsychological perspective. Yes, the sun rises and sets objectively at the same time for everyone in Bearsted, therefore defining our earthly fixed time reference - our day. However, what we do with our time allocation and how we perceive it, is so very different. For some, in the midst of high stress working as key workers in health/ education or other vital occupations, time may seem to pass so quickly, frenetically and relentlessly. For others, who are isolated and alone, time may seem to drag out in a different, yet still relentless fashion.
We acknowledge that God is the creator of time – the alpha and omega, beginning and the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us - He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. And also: When times are good, be happy but when times are bad consider this: God has made one as well as the other.( Ecclesiastes 7:14)
Therefore, even when days are dark, dull and long; or frenetic and stressed – we have this very precious gift called time.
The brilliant scientist Stephen Hawking said: "Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up."
An excerpt from the poem by W H Auden: No Time
Clocks cannot tell our time of day
For what event to pray
Because we have no time , because
We have no time until
We know what time we fill,
Why time is other than time was.
Whatever definition of time we prefer, how we experience it and use it is up to us. His compassions and mercies are new every day. Even in these very strange days it is essential to remember that time is a precious gift for us to soak up and use.