A speaker once suggested a lovely, brain-teasing thought:
An unknown author posits, “Time does not pass, it continues.” Is it that simple? Short of think tank theorists, I don’t suppose any of us debate time’s monotonous march or swift stride forward. We measure progress by change and evaluate quality by experience (positive or negative). Tension, when it exists, is often sparked by expectations and limitations. Notice the common denominator is personal: the “self.” No, the progression of time isn’t questioned; the experience of it becomes the thing.
Isn’t that when we struggle?
“I had three days. Three days!” The treatment worked surprisingly well, but the results are intermittent.
“I know there must be a child out there for us! How will I know where?” Heartbreaking news wreaked havoc in the adoption plans that seemed straight forward.
“I’m in transition.” The belongings that crowded the desk were packed up in boxes. Three months ago.
What we know…
Time is the one-way path disappearing into the expanse beyond. We like to think we can see so many steps ahead, but if we’re honest, the path is obscured just in front of the footprints we fill. We’d prefer to know every twist, turn, and “happily ever after” that simply has to trail behind each circumstance, wouldn’t we? But we don’t. And we can’t.
7 Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?
Ecclesiastes 8:7 NIV
It’s impossible to know what’s next. Reading the present is hard enough (and that has real potential to be misread). What can we do to infuse time’s progress with biblical truth or find the grace, regardless of how we experience its speed?
…always fear the Lord. 18 For then you will have a future, and your hope will never fade. 19 Listen, my son, and be wise; keep your mind on the right course. Proverbs 23:17b-19 CSB
There is a future here and hereafter. We have no idea what it is. Hope for what we have yet to experience takes root in reverence and trust in the One who does.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29 NIV
5 Lord, You are my portion and my cup [of blessing]; You hold my future. Psalm 16 CSB
Something for me to think about when I’m challenged to remain in the present while my eyes range the horizon searching for clues to my future…
Do you find yourself struggling with this, too?