The clock struck midnight and at that precise moment 2022 was in the past and 2023 was ushered in. Time is a definitive, consistent, predictable and logical thing in our lives. There is no guess work when it comes to calendars and clocks, so why am I scratching my head wondering what happened to 2022? Further, how did my kids grow up so quickly and how did I turn around and become middle aged and near retirement?
For time to be the most calculable of all things, it certainly seems illusive. The Bible certainly is in agreement with how time escapes us. “For what is life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:14. That is exactly how time feels and how quickly 2022 did a disappearing act. If it is possible for time to appear to pass faster than calendars and clocks dictate, then the opposite must hold true. I think there must be a way for time to appear to move slower. The question is, how? There is always boredom or torture to spread endless hours before you, but that is no fun.
The scriptures address time quite a bit. In Genesis 1, we are told that God put bright lights in the sky to mark days, months and years. It was first organized, but later people began to misuse their time. The scriptures warn of squandering time by becoming preoccupied with things that don’t matter in eternity. And it speaks of diligent living. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom concerning time.
“As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” John 9:4.
“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.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
As we contemplate these verses, it seems the way to slow time is to submit to God’s timing and His plans for our life to live intentionally with eternity in mind. For that reason alone, we don’t have to live like tomorrow won’t come. I see many people who fill up their days with fun and excitement so that they have no regrets. Some become fixated on squeezing as many good times into time as possible.
I am all about fun and excitement, but that cannot be the core of how we spend our time. The Christian need not fear what ifs or live in haste. For what will that profit us? The scripture says in Proverbs 21:5 we come up short when we live that way: “haste leads to poverty”. But living diligently in our walk with the Lord will profit us and perhaps even appear to slow time.
In 1683 patriot Sir William Russell handed his pocket watch to the physician who attended him in death. “I have no use for it. I am now dealing with eternity.”, Russell said. Billy Graham said of time, “This world fades into insignificance in the light of eternity. All the things that preoccupy us are no longer important, and only one thing counts: our relationship with God…How different would today be if you knew it would be your last one on earth before meeting God face to face?” Surely you would consider how you might slow time and live in the light of eternity.