Confession of a time-waster: I am motivated by the words that we often read but not really understand. I try to capture each intent behind the word as it appears at a particular place. Today as I re-look at this subject I realize how important the word ‘time’ is in impacting the meaning of each word. I was sorting my old files and found a series of old poems. When I read some of them I found the repeated phrase “after some years”, “after many years”, and “after twenty years”. I paused when I read the last phrase about time. Why? Because I collected those poems about twenty years ago. I was touched by them and I treasured them. Because I just had my birthday celebration.
After twenty years, I read of what the poet has proclaimed, “Before the fence with green trees blooming with white flowers, we had casually waved good bye. But after twenty years of many changes …” I pondered over the phrase “after twenty years of many changes”. In the original language the phrase “many changes” are depicted by the fact that even the sea can be changed into orchards and on the other hand orchards can turn into a span of desolate water as vast as the sea. The poet might have hinted at the physical anatomy of life –sunken valleys and risen mountains all at the wrong locations.
On a more serious mood, I reflect on my reading God’s words and then casually living my life without a sense of time. I did not know that every time I waved goodbye to something or someone I was waving goodbye to time. Time is a precious commodity that never returns and cannot be replaced. Twenty years ago I was ready to step into a new phase of my life and I waved goodbye casually to the time before that twenty years. I even thought that the next twenty years would stretch over a long time and I would have sufficient time to get ready for my life after that.
Well, the reality is here I am twenty years later suddenly waking up to know I have waved goodbye to time too casually and too soon. Before time passes I looked forward to its fresh arrival. Every year end I waved goodbye happily to the old. I would wake the next day full of hope for a new year. Alas, the year came and went too soon.
I realize now it is not the thing or the person that counts. It is the time I spend. Time is a counting tool. It counted in the past since day one. It is counting today. It will count until the day I am shown the heavenly record of my lifetime on earth. The word of God does give me many clear instructions about time and the wisdom to live wisely where time is concerned. But I still wake up today finding twenty years have gone and I am not getting them back.
My recent refractive lens exchange on both eyes has given me perfect physical vision. For once I look into the mirror and see myself. The first shock was incredible. Where have all my twenty years gone? It reminds me of oldies of 1990s like “candle in the wind”, “I will always love you”, “everything I do I do for you”, “my heart will go on”… and worse, really ancient sixties’ songs like “where have all the flowers gone“, “blowing in the wind”, “the times they are changing”, “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)”, “dust in the wind”…The good news is:
Here goes: God Will Make a Way: Don Moen’s May 13, 2003 release: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WEejBUX5kE
Ecclesiastes 3 (NKJV)
Everything Has Its Time
3 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
15 That which is has already been,
And what is to be has already been;
And God requires an account of what is past.