Time Enough at Last



James 4:13-15

Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

I chase time. I want more of it.


And often in my life I have felt like Henry Bemis in the 1959 Twilight Zone episode in which the people and the world around him conspires to keep him from having more time and in his case it was to read books.

My mother who is 91 reminds me to enjoy and use this day wisely as it will soon be gone forever. This is profound. She feels the slipping away of “Her” time on this earth behind her, in her bones and in her soul.

I speak as if the time that I have in front of me now, this slice of time right now as mine. Yet the bible clearly states “time” is not mine as my life is not mine. James 4:13-15 is clear in that it is by God’s providence we get to our destination today, tomorrow or any day.

My days (like yours) are filled with constant interruptions. Even the days I am not at work. In the past I have reacted with frustration and anger. Things break, there are traffic delays, the phone rings inconveniently for example, someone knocks at the door.

Dr.Paul Tripp says; “You and I don’t live in a series of big, dramatic moments. We don’t careen from big decision to big decision. We all live in an endless series of little moments. The character of a life isn’t set in ten big moments. The character of a life is set in ten thousand little moments of everyday life. It’s the themes of struggles that emerge from those little moments that reveal what’s really going on in our hearts.” (Whiter Than Snow, 21)

Sanctus or qedushah was a Jewish chant at dusk and dawn services which enthrones God as the ruler of the universe and the Lord of one’s life. Professor and theologian Leonard Sweet says in Soul Salsa; “Time off, wasted time, useless time is often God’s time. Even god wasted time. “On the seventh day God rested and drew breath.”

But what is time? Singer Jim Croce tried to put time is a bottle. Is it a substance? Can we catch it and put it into a bottle? Philosophers and Theologians have grappled with time since the beginning. Is time for you and me real? Is time subjective or objective? Is it just an illusion of our brains and consciousness?

Philosopher Peter Kreeft says “We have time and prayer backwards. We think time determines prayer, but prayer determines time. We think our lack of time is the cause of our lack of prayer, but our lack of prayer is the cause of our lack of time.” “But prayer multiplies time only if and when we sacrifice our time, offer it up. There's the rub. We fear sacrifice. It's a kind of death.” From the article “Time” on Peter Kreeft.com

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