OUT TO PASTOR: Is time a friend or an enemy?
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were locked in a hopeless Mexican standoff. She was effectively arguing her side of the issue and I was, well, let’s say I was not agreeing. I will not say who won, just that it wasn’t me.
She then looked at me, put both hands on her hips and said, “Time will tell that I’m right."”
I cannot wait. The problem is, time is never on my side. I simply do not know what it is about time, but it never does me any favors. Always, and I mean always, time proves my wife was right. I hate it.
I thought it was supposed to be “Father Time” we are dealing with. If it is, he certainly does not have the male side of the issue in good grips. Why has time always proven my wife right? Perhaps Mother Nature has so bullied Father Time that he always takes up the side of my wife.
The past week I have been thinking about this aspect of life; time. It seems that for the most part, we have put a lot of pressure upon time. For example, my wife keeps reminding me that time heals all wounds. If it was not for time I would have no wounds, I retorted.
I got in trouble just this past week because I was running out of time. I had to get across town for an appointment and believe me, time was not on my side. It would have been nice if I could just sit down with Father Time and negotiate a little bit. Would it be that hard for him to press the pause button and suspend time in order for me to catch up? Why is it so important that time keeps marching on? Why can’t it, at least on the weekends, just take a slow stroll down memory lane?
Often I look at my watch to determine if I have enough time to do a certain project. Time has become an austere taskmaster, refusing to give up one second.
Think with me a little bit. Wouldn't it be nice to have every week just one “do over” moment? How hard would that be? Father Time insists on perfection always. He does not allow for screw-ups, which is rather pressing for me. If I could just have one 15-minute period during the week that I could do over, I might be able to catch up a little.
He wants me to be “on time” every time. When it is 2 p.m., it is only 2 p.m. for one second, that is all. I believe there is an error here somewhere. If time is so valuable, why can’t I enjoy 2 p.m. for say, 15 minutes? But no, by the time I acknowledge that it is 2 p.m. Father Time is tapping his finger on his watch and saying, “Let’s keep moving because time waits for no man.”
At the very center of my life, and everybody else’s as well, is the infamous clock representing time. And what a harsh, demanding element this invention has become. Who invented that clock in the first place? Why was it not good enough just to look at the sun and guess what time of day it was? If it was dark, it was time to go to sleep. If the sun was up and it was light outside, it was time to get up.
Oh, how I miss those good old days.
But no, Father Time tricked somebody into inventing a device that keeps time. Or, so Father Time convinced the unsuspecting inventor.
The joke is on us who wear watches. No watch I have ever owned has ever kept time. All it does is show me that time is passing and I am late for an appointment. Where is that inventor that can invent some mechanism or some technology that can actually keep time? I would be the first one to buy such a contraption.
Why can’t Bill Gates come out of retirement and do something useful for humanity and invent the technology that actually keeps time. I would settle for half-hour increments. I could live with that.
For many years now, time has not been on my side and neither has it been involved in the healing of any of my many wounds. Then never, contrary to what my wife says, has time ever told me anything. It just keeps on ticking while giving me a licking.
I am older, but certainly, I am not any wiser. And I blame Father Time. He has not given me enough time to learn everything that I need to know. Every day it seems I am always running out of time. And I cannot believe it is my fault.
Time marches on and I need to make the best of it as best I can.
The apostle Paul understood the urgency of this matter we call time. He writes in his epistle, “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 KJV).
The only time we really have is now. I never have a “now” to do over so I need to make time my friend and not my enemy.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, and lives with his wife in Ocala, FL. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.