Maybe it’s the German in me that longs to be efficient with my time whenever possible. “Always have something to read,” my home pastor and mentor Pastor Carl Weber used to tell me. “You never know when there will be idle time in which you can still be productive.” I don’t know about you but driving over 4,000 miles by yourself is a lot of idle time and so I made sure to stop by the Haddonfield Library to pick up six audiobooks to listen to while driving across two-thirds of nation. By the time I hit the PA Turnpike I put in the first disc of Mitch Albom’s The Time Keeper, a fictional novel about Father Time and how we view time.
In listening to the story I realized how much of my life is dictated by the measuring of time rather than appreciating the moments I’m living in it. I wonder how many of us fall victim to watching the clock, or cell phone more now than wristwatches unless of course you have an iWatch or a Fitbit, rather than savoring the moments in which we are living.
“How much longer will this movie last?”
“Hurry up and eat dinner or we won’t get to the game on time”
“How much longer do I need to wait in this doctor’s office?”
“Why can’t worship be over sooner?”
“This is a long and slow hymn! It will take them forever to sing it!”
“How many more songs in this concert?”
“How many more scenes in this play?”
“Extra innings! It’ll be midnight before I get home!”
Believe it or not I’ve made ALL of these comments myself. Yet, I wonder what are the moments I’ve missed in my focus on the passing of time rather than the life I’ve lived in it? The flavor of the dinner and appreciation of the hands that prepared it and conversation at table in eating it. Listening to the words of the hymn and how they might speak to my soul at this time in my life. Appreciating the talent on the stage and their ability to evoke emotion in me by their acting or singing. I’ll be driving a lot and marking time throughout this sabbatical. I need to acknowledge the moments worth living along the way and savor them and reflect on the people with whom I have the privilege of traveling this journey we call life as I go. Most of all, I look forward to the moments I get to spend with God and reconnecting in a deeper way with the one who gave me life and for whom a day is a thousand years and a thousand years a day.
See you soon,