Time is such a weird phenomenon when you stop to really think about it.
It’s talked about all the… time. People comment on how quickly it flies when you’re having fun and how slowly it drags with anticipation. How there’s never enough of it or how they have all of it in the world. Some people even call it money. You can’t change it, yet twice a year we do. It dictates our schedules and maps out our days. It’s a standard unit of measurement yet it can be completely relative to the person experiencing it. Our world would be pretty chaotic without it. We think we understand it, but in reality, do we really?
My contemplation of time was sparked two days after Christmas. It was Chris’ birthday, so I surprised him with dinner, shoe shopping (his choice, I SWEAR), and a movie. There wasn’t a great selection in the theaters, so we finally settled on “Interstellar”…a rather long and slow moving Sci-Fi… that focused a lot on time and our understanding of it. Let me be clear, this is not a raving review for the movie, but it was interesting enough and it’s caused me to spend quite a bit of time… thinking about time.
I turned thirty last Thursday, which even furthered my fascination with this subject. Being younger, I can specifically recall times that different doctors would suggest “Thirty” might be the age when I’d be in a wheelchair, etc. Thirty always seemed so far off in the future, but here I am, being directed towards the “anti-aging” creams by the 20 year old working at Ulta. My skin may be losing elasticity, but I’m still walking! (again…. do we, as humans, really understand time?).
The way that I think about time has shifted drastically in a year and a half, since finding the right medication to help my depression. In the deepest and darkest parts of my depression my time here seemed dauntingly long and many days seemed to desperately cry out for me to find a way to shorten them. The thought of continuing on in this body that is so quickly deteriorating, seemed at times, too overwhelming to bear.
While I most certainly still have days where the thought of having to get out of bed and actually move, is still exhausting, my overall thinking about the time God has given to me in my body, has changed. I have a small fire that has been lit inside of me to pick up the cross that I’ve been given (daily) and bring the most glory to Him during my time on earth, as I possibly can.
As I continue to read through scripture (the only written word that actually transcends time), I am absolutely convinced that the way we calculate and experience time, is nothing like the way God does. I am pretty excited to get to heaven and ask him all about it. Like, “how did he decide when it was the right time to send Jesus to this earth?”, “why was Jesus’ life 30 years? Why not 5 or 75?”, “how much time will actually pass until he decides to set up his new earth?”, “during creation, was ‘a day’ actually 24 hours?”, and “how long will it feel like we are in heaven until we come to live on the new earth that he has promised?”. I’ll pretty much be like a 3 year old in the worst stage of toddlerhood…the “why and how” stage. Or maybe I won’t even need to know all of these things anymore… maybe somehow I will just understand them.
Just before Christmas, my neurologist in Chicago re-ordered my brain and cervical spine scans. It had been a year and he wanted to re-check them, as the “heavy” feeling I get in my arms continues to increase. He had also noticed that a few of my reflexes in my right hand were a little abnormal.
On my birthday, I got a call from his office saying that everything looked really good…almost better than he expected it to look. There had been no change in my Chiari herniation and he saw nothing on my scans that he felt I needed to pursue further treatment for (right now). Time is a funny thing. One year ago, on the exact same day, we were given my diagnosis of Chiari and talking about the possibility of brain surgery. Now, instead of a scar on my scalp, I have a hole in my abdomen with an ileostomy bag attached. Time is a funny thing, folks, and it does no good to worry about it or try and figure it out.
So, what then should we do with time? One thing that I have found vital for surviving time, is hope. But hope and time have a complicated relationship. So many times I like to attach hope with time in the future or with what has happened in time in the past. It is not wrong to hope for what is coming or to hope because of what has happened, but one thing I find so hard to do is hope in my present moment.
The only way to do this, or to do any of it really, is Jesus. Because of his life I can hope in the everyday challenge of parenting. Because of his love I can hope in the future of my marriage. Because of his suffering I can hope when I undergo surgery #23. Because of his death I can hope for a new body, free of pain, but also vibrant life in my present circumstances.
What does hope look like in your own sphere of time because of Jesus?
“My days are swifter than a weavers’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope.” – Job 7:6
Standing with you, in HOPE, through Jesus…