Time, an interlude which—for those who live in it—divides eternity past from eternity future. Time’s boundaries are solidly set by the very movements of each heavenly body in our universe. To make it even clearer to us, God created the sun, the moon with the stars and even the seasons to mark time’s passage. There is no change; 365 days to a year, 24 hours to a day, 1440 minutes. While the calendars used to count the days vary from culture to culture, the rhythm stays consistent within each culture, and we all agree our days have the same number of hours, the same number of minutes.
None of this is earth shattering except I just realized that everyone on earth actually agrees about this one thing. We all have the same amount of time each day. But, oh, how our perception of that amount differs and changes as we move through life.
Ask any one over forty and he or she will tell you time is moving faster, and the more years the person has lived past forty the more amazed he or she is how those years fly by even faster. While we experience that reality from year to year, how do we perceive the passage of time day to day or even within a single day?
I first noticed how time could move either faster or slower when I was about seven-years-old. Sitting still and quiet, coloring book in hand, my mornings dragged on interminably. It was made all the worse because my least favorite thing to do as a lefty being raised as a righty was to color. My huge repeated sighs and squirming in my chair did not win me any favor in my captor’s eyes. She was always glad to release me to my grandfather’s care and I was overjoyed to escape.
With my grandfather, afternoons and evenings would fly by; even long rides to get to where we were going were over in a flash. Soon we would be in the sunshine: fishing, berry picking, shooting, hunting, swimming, or inside learning things like how to make and can jelly. The second half of the day was over far too soon.
From my perspective, childhood days were definitely longer and years flowed by leisurely. Neither did time speed up for me during my school years though small pockets of time seemed to never end.
After marriage, I became busier and my to-do list longer. I remember more days than I care to admit to when I would look at my list and tell God I didn’t have time to stop and talk. Those days invariably would speed by and were over well before I reached the end of my to-do list. Other times—fewer than I care to admit to—I looked at my long list and said, “God, I choose to visit with you first.” Consistently, I would get to the end of these days and marvel at how the time spent with God was given back to me over and above what I had given to him. My list completed or nearly so and my energy renewed.
The past three decades, I have seen each year pass more quickly than the last. I know what it is like to have busy days that speed by; then draw to halt: dead in my tracks, my days swallowed up in personal pain or illness. There have been hundreds of days I have felt time drag as I sat next to a hospital bed waiting to find out what our new reality was going to be.
Dear reader, what can I tell you? That not only is God in control of our great big universe but if you choose you can turn each individual day over to his control. I do not believe he will physically stop time for us as he did for Joshua. But I can tell you, if you let him, he can order your day and make your path so straight that you will achieve more in the twenty-four hours he has allotted you than you could ever imagine.