“The past is a closed door, and the future depends on what we do today and what it does to us. Time marches on!”
— Author Unknown
Recently I was reminded of the concept of dash (“–”) time. On our gravestone will be marked the year we were born and the year we died. Separating these two dates will be a dash. We will have lived our dash time. No more time than that will be afforded us. We will have lived and we will live no more. Such is the march of the hours.
When we consider that truth in the rawness of its clarity we hold our breath. We don’t quite know what to make of it. We know the hours march on and we are helpless to slow time, even in the midst of situations where the last thing we would want to do is slow time.
The hours march on as if an army, marching to a perfect tune; to the one decreed by the one and only Creator God.
Sometimes we laugh at these hours, ridiculous as they seem. We cannot comprehend how to make the most of them, yet equally we cannot conjure time enough to relax. There is either too much time or not enough, and we are made unhappy at either of those two great poles.
The march of the hours compels our state of mind and heart. How we determine time and its role in our lives has a great deal of a say over everything. Time seems to be mean and nasty, but time is just time; there is nothing on this earth more objective.
Borrowing from the Eternal
Regarding such a thing as time there is no point in frustration. It won’t change time one iota.
In a public toilet just recently I looked at the tiles on the wall; “These will be here longer than me,” I imagined to myself. Just about everything we can see will outlast us as individuals.
Such a statement of fact we can find depressing (or exhilarating if we have a death wish), because it reminds us how mortal we are in this life. Life is coming to an end; our lives here on Earth, I mean.
It is up to us to come up with something better. There is nothing better, so far as time is concerned, than borrowing from the eternal. We can only ever borrow. We can never truly own. Owning in this life is a fallacy for the fool to believe in. No one wants to be a fool.
Borrowing from the eternal is simply acknowledging the raw fact that the hours march on and it is eternity that we must look forward to. Eternity is the only thing we can take part in, from an ownership perspective.
God owns our souls. And God, in his good time, will require our souls back.
Borrowing from the eternal is taking some peace out of the fact that our destiny is secured. If we cannot take any respite from that, we do not know God, and that is no good to us. As the hours march on, or with a view of borrowing from the eternal, knowing God is crucial.
In life, we are neither ahead nor behind. Everyone meets the same end. The march of the hours is proof that God will one day call our souls to return. We have two life tasks: 1) make the most of today, and 2) plan for the eternal tomorrow.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.