We all have numbered days, so we are told. We don’t know what they are, God does, but we waste what we have so flagrantly as a derelict prince with riches that are not his. We say when we are old or unwell that we live on borrowed time. Whose time is it if not our own? If we are still here then it is still our time.
Since I stopped working at a job a few years ago I stopped wearing a watch. This was a clear indication to me that my measurement of time by my watch was such that I would keep to someone else’s time, not my own. Yet who else do we keep time for? Our employers, if we are a guest at a friend’s or an inn for whatever schedule is theirs. But when it does not matter to us what time it is, then we simplify our time to day or night. Or further broken down to morning, afternoon, evening, overnight. We have time to read, to laugh, to listen, to tell, to hope, to think, to create, to rest, to play, to eat, to share, to become ill, to become well. To live.
We speak of the fullness of time, time that has its realization in its own truth where it has been so well spent that we are satisfied, happy, as after a good meal or a happy time with our families or a friend. It is also when something long awaited has finally come and we are not disappointed. Its realization, this event, or its fullness has consumed and filled us so completely as to bring us to that point of completeness, joy and grace that we have grateful memory of it for all our lives.
Time was important to my father. He did not waste it. He kept himself busy, whether in his workshop or at his business, or vacationing, or even just in thought. Whatever he did he did it so completely that he left no question that there was nothing missing or left out or forgotten. The flight of time did not escape him. He rode its magic his entire life.
I have an old kitchen clock that had belonged to my dad. I have had it repaired twice and the second time the chime simply stopped working. It was a loud chime so for a while I missed its waking me in the night, faithfully alerting me to the wee morning hours… 2 chimes, then 3 and so on as though by sleeping I was missing the most important time. When it stopped I decided it had relented to the meager human need to restore oneself with sleep and am grateful. Still, its loud tick-tock during the day breaks occasionally into my thoughts or activities and I am glad it reminds me to keep pace, not lose time or be wasteful. Dad might be pleased of this.
“Think not thy time short in this world, since the world itself is not long. The created world is but a small parenthesis in eternity, and a short interposition, for a time, between such a state of duration as was before it and may be after it.“
Sir Thomas Browne—Christian Morals. Pt. III. XXIX.