I am not astonished any more but I remember a period in my life where I was constantly plagued by the arrival of the next hour. Not in the sense of the mystery of what is to come but the consistent thought that I’m not going to be done with what I was working on. I blame the whole philosophy on KU’s ARCE program. (A couple of all-nighters in a row with an explosion of ink-on-Mylar and everything gets measured in terms of how many hours till the crit.)
Whether it was a studio course or some relationship, perhaps the oncoming loss of a loved one, when college days swiftly fade imbued with memories fond, or just changing decades, we all seem to have the dysfunctional relationship with time. We look at how much has passed and it turns us into mules: obstinate to change or passive aggressively avoiding all that is necessary, relevant, or beneficial. OR we tend to hop into the proverbial NASCAR of life: circling the same scenarios trying to schedule pit stops right when you are running on fumes. C.S. Lewis stated in A Mind Awake “We are so little reconciled to time that we are even astonished at it.” Time is foreign to us in comparison to everything else created. I have never seen birds carry planners, watches, or even come close to the pouts we act out at lost moments. Perhaps our fight is because we long to be in a position where we do not have to worry about how much is left.
I am amazed at the fact that while Jesus clearly tabernacle among man in every sense, he still seemed to demonstrate the ability to operate outside of ‘time constraint’ façade; the push for ‘it has to get done’ that we seem to adhere to or try to ignore….or sometimes both options. He was not like this. He gave example after example of a different way to live. The rush at Cana for more provisions prompted Jesus response that it is not yet His time, yet he still performed a miracle. Lazarus dies and he waits days to draw out a truth that His disciples could hold to. Resolute to enter Jerusalem to die, he goes out of his way to stop by villages to offer them life. He had great urgency at doing what was necessary and if it has to play itself out from the 6th to the 9th hour, so be it.
Perhaps the pattern of a Christian life is one that has reconciled that the urgency is in adherence to our Father in spite of the temporary continual clock ticking in the background.