Do you ever watch QI? There are lots of questions with seemingly obvious answers but the responses you think are true turn out to be wrong.
Last night's episode asked how many senses we have. The obvious answer is five. But no. As well as the usual five, we also have a sense of balance, a sense of direction, a sense of body position, and a sense of time. Some people list up to 21.
For the past few months I have been hearing those familiar words...
"It's almost Christmas. Can you believe it? The year has gone so fast!"
Does our sense of time really tell us things are going too fast?
Are we fighting time?
Look at medicine - we are trying to defy disease and decay. Look at cosmetic surgery/procedures - we are trying to defy age. In our work, we try to do more in less time, bowing to the gods Efficiency and Outcomes. In our families we value 'quality time' and hate to 'waste' time. On birthdays, we focus on advancing age as a sign of decrepitude rather than a sign of wisdom. We gingerly celebrate the passing of time but nervously laugh that it may just 'catch up with us' as we run from it in fright.
But time goes at the pace God set it to go. Time passes because the world is on its way through a journey from its careful formation, to its eventual transformation. Each day has night because our bodies need restoration and relief from daily strains. Each year has seasons so that we and the earth can be renewed and refreshed. The marking of time allows us to be anchored, yet travelling, in our walk through life.
It's easy to wish that time would stand still for us to savour goodness or fit more worthy stuff in. And then sometimes the trials of life drive us to pray for the acceleration of time. We long for the shortest, fastest time of suffering for those we love, and it is natural that we do.
But let's stop fighting so desperately to beat time. It is actually our friend, a companion guiding us to the fulfillment of our lives. It is not our master, berating us for not getting enough done. Or our enemy, forcing us to measure our inadequacies. Time rescues us from being trapped in our mistakes and failures, drawing us to ultimate redemption. It gives us now to experience mercy and grace, today. It gives us hope, for tomorrow is new, fresh, unblemished. Time delivers us into a new day.
I want to try to accept my experience of the pace of time. Not wish it away, not claw it back to me as I resist its flow. The new year will arrive at a propitious time, at just the right time. It will bring fresh hope and opportunity. The daily renewing I need to survive.