It is the one thing that escapes us. That one word literally has the “power” to freeze us in our tracks; the very thought of it can "scare" a person senseless. Some of us might have simply wasted what is a precious commodity… others might not have been given a choice. Whatever the case, it all comes down to one thing – time is fleeting. Those 24 hours that comprise one single day seem to move faster than we give them credit for.
Because I was raised “differently,” I feel like I view life from a different perspective than the World goes by. Even as a young adult, I am amazed at the rate time is passing by. I remember being in “awe” that 2011 had arrived and ringing in that New Year – since then a whole year has come and gone. I remember some six years ago being freaked out (like I was every year) at my piano recital and mentally berating myself for messing up my piece midway through and never getting my groove back to carry the song into its end (as a teen, that seemed “big”). Now adults’ standard answer or remark to me is, “that’s because you’re so young.” It may be true that my viewfinder on life is not yet completely honed on its complexities but I am entitled to my thoughts and view on life, and believe me when I say: Life is moving at a rapid speed that no one can keep pace with.
Following a viewing of the futuristic drama In Time, I was once again reminded how fragile life is in all its mysteries and how important it is to cherish what time we have. The protagonists in the movie literally must survive on time alone. Before it morphs into a kind of Bonnie and Clyde heist story, the film is a thought-provoking twist telling a unique story that not only places its characters in danger from the bad guys but also has them fighting for their next breath. Imagine a world where time literally pays rent… where time is legal tender to put food on the table. A universe where time is traded and bought on a Wall Street stock market instead of currency… a world in which choosing between the household bills or time could mean the end of one’s life. That is the reality Will Salas’ is asked to live on a day-to-day and hour-by-hour scenario. He wasn’t even assured the next hour let alone another sunrise. During a pivotal “reckoning” like scene between the heroine of the movie and her father, Sylvia responds to his belief that the rich should live forever with these words:
We're not meant to live like this. We're not meant to live forever. Although I do wonder, Father, if you've ever lived a day in your life.
Unlike Will and Sylvia’s life, our time is not something we can buy and sell. In looking back, all we have left are the memories and tomorrow – and even that is not promised. I believe up to a certain point that life is what you make of it. A person can live out their time moping around and believing the worst is going to happen, or we can be optimistic in realism. That is how I have chosen to see life. I do not want to spend my time sad or depressed at the ways Christianity has become a mocked religion or the current state of our beloved country. It saddens me, yes, but I want the time I am given on earth to be about more than tears.
Time may not be something we can hold in the palm of our hands, saving to cherish for a time of our choosing but it offers us something more important. Each day that we do begin again, start another day, another week, we are privileged to be able to learn – not just about things that might interest us but also take away knowledge of spiritual teachings. To make memories. To form strong bonds and relationships with those who mean the most to us. Perhaps the greatest lesson that can be learned from “time” is found in a popular adage: Don’t leave things unsaid that you might want a loved one to hear. The truth is that with time, no matter its length, there is never “enough.” We may not be in a world that is post-apocalyptic where time is literally money, and although I don’t believe God takes lives at will, each day we have here on earth is truly a gift from our Creator.