Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Timely Resolution: All That Matters is Right Now

"Every moment comes to you pregnant with a divine purpose; time being so precious that God deals it out only second by second. Once it leaves your hands and your power to do with it as you please, it plunges into eternity, to remain forever what you made it."
   --Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

It is among the oddest and most surreal, yet most powerful of human constructs: time.  Odd because for all we think about it, talk about it, push up against it, feel overwhelmed by it, seem to never have enough of it...time is not really “real”.  Can't see it or taste it, touch it or hold it.  Time can't be captured or given physical shape. We can judge time by clocks and timepieces and calendars but time finally is completely out of human hands.

Time just is.

Yet how we humans obsess, worry, and think about time, especially this week, the one time all year when more than ever, we are fully aware of time. One year ends. Another begins.  Old man 2013 exits.  New baby 2014 arrives.

So what time is it for you? Fast time? That’s when we experience time as flying by. We look in the mirror and see a face that has aged with time: wrinkles that once were not there now appear, hair gone gray, body a bit creaky.  "Is that really me?" we ask, surprised by the passage of time.  We look at the world and see how much has changed. Folks come and gone.  A world sped up and speeding along.  Children we once held in our arms now walking down the aisle for a wedding.  Neighbors and friends and loved ones, moved away or worse, passed on.  Where does the time go?

Or time: we can experience it as a fearful future or regret filled past.  Time gets wrapped up in all our anxieties about tomorrow.  What will the future hold?  We see the year ahead, this blank palette of endless time and can become anxious.  Will my job be ok?  Will my kids do well?  How will my health hold up?  Or we can hold on to the past, let regret drag us backwards in time.  Hold on to a grudge.  Beat ourselves up for a mistake we made.  Rue how we lost time.

Wow. For not being real, time can really rule our hearts, our lives, and our souls.  Or—we can give our time over to the One who made all time, who holds all time in time: God.  The Universe. That power greater than ourselves. Since time is not ours to tame, perhaps this letting go of time is the best way to begin a new year.

Picture this: God as holding all time, all time, in the Divine hands.  That which has been, that which is, and that which will be.  God only knows tomorrow. God can redeem our yesterdays.  God only gives us one gift of time and that is today, right now, this time. This minute. This tick of the clock.

The present is the only time that is real.  In this second we know we are alive.  We can feel our lungs fill up with air.  See Creation all around us.  Life stretches before us with all it possibilities.  Opportunities abound for love, meaning, hope, new beginnings, joy, all in the precious gift God-given gift of now.  Not in a past we cannot change nor a future we cannot control.  Only now. 

This is God's time. Maybe our time too. So may God bless all of our new years and starting when?

Right now! May you have a Happy, Blessed New Year. 

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