When I consider time, I find myself in a strange place. I am living a new life (not yet two years old) of wifehood, and, soon to be, motherhood. I write at home, care for a small house, cook for an easygoing husband, and tend (sort of) a tiny garden.
Yet I still study my planner and wonder how my days get so full. Why do I never seem to finish things entirely? Perhaps this weekend I can relax. Or next month.
But bound up in my longing for more time in the future are my memories of the past. Back then I took long walks in the woods. I wasn’t so responsible. Supper appeared whether I made it or not. When I’m feeling especially emotional, I connect deeply with Edna St. Vincent Millay’s words from Interim: “I had you and I have you now no more.”
And so I live in my own interim, my own “meanwhile”. The golden days of childhood are gone. The future loses its shine as time sweeps on and I still cannot rest.
But what if I’m considering time incorrectly? What if it’s not something to be captured and used like a golden goose?
Tish Harrison Warren writes in The Liturgy of the Ordinary, “The reality is that time is a stream we are swept into. Time is a gift from God, a means of worship…It does not revolve around me. Time revolves around God—what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will do.”
If time is a tool God uses, not me, then who am I to question how much He gives me? I cannot spurn His gift of time by complaining about how small it is. Or about the things He gives me to fill it.
If I can accept His gift of time, I can leave the interim and truly live. I can stop waiting for the good part. Although redemption and perfection are yet coming, they are being fulfilled now. I can be part of it by fulfilling the responsibilities He’s given me. Or I can complain and remain in the meanwhile.
How have you tried to make time revolve around you? How does that affect your attitude about how much time you have and what fills your time?