Wednesday, November 13 2019 - 12:24 AM
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The Gift of Time

This week I am struck by issues with time. Not just my use of time, but our expectations for time. I learned of a young expectant couple who lost their baby at just 19 weeks. They had traded expectations for a normal pregnancy and prayed for just another month to deliver, but that time was not granted. Another family lost their wife, mother and grandmother —they should have had her for more years than that. A friend in cancer treatment has vowed to not let the little annoyances eat up her energy and time anymore. In my family someone is waiting for more information on a health issue, and answers would be appreciated NOW. Chunks of life seem tenuous and unpredictable.

I live with both ends of the time spectrum. We have two kittens and a geriatric dog—energy bursting and energy waning. We still have a parent who is nearing 100 years of age, and we have a toddler grandchild—both need naps and lots of patience. Personally, I live with the hope of possessing another active 20 years. So little time, so many wishes.

Next year, next holiday, next birthday, next season, next vacation—those are not promised for any of us yet they spread out during youth in calendars of seemingly endless supply. “See you next time!” we say to one another. We expect a lot of next times.

Occasionally I ask myself, do I really want to spend two hours watching that movie? Do I really want to spend the time to read that book? How many more opportunities will I have to be with my aging aunt, or another relative? What kind of memories do I hope to inspire in the hearts and minds of my grandchildren?

During pain, mess and boredom we want to speed up time. During fun, great food, inspiration and goodbyes, we want time to slow down. Time is a gift, not to be simply saved or used. But fully unwrap the gift, be present, savor it with gratitude. God is present in this gift.

Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:

1. How can you slow time?

2. Remember a time when God or a loved one seemed very present with you.

Karen Spruill writes from Orlando, Florida.

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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