Thinking About Time
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved
Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 — New Revised Standard Version
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
The God-Given Task
What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by.
* * *
Friend, and singer songwriter Dave Hamilton,
has written a song he’s titled,
Thinking About Time:
“I get up before the dawn when the dark is not quite gone. Early birds sing with delight ready for the day’s first flight. Gentle breezes stir the trees I greet the morning with stiff knees and I like to start the day in my own peculiar way but the hours fly by fast the morning calm just doesn’t last. The afternoon comes rushing in and soon the day is gone again. Chorus: Oh where does the time go a mystery just like a black hole I’m losing my mind thinking about time.”
Well, it seems that time is on our minds,
But in truth there is no time.
We have no future, really.
We have no past, actually.
All we have is now—
if you think 2016 was a horrible year,
it really is but a fly
speck on a long
continuum of past fly specks.
Friend and fellow theologian,
Jay Johnson, says:
“It’s random. It’s just the numbers calculated by a Roman pope centuries ago.”
a coming year,
a past year have
so much meaning and weight for us,
and place a huge
burden upon our souls,
but it is all based
on an artificial construction.
So the questions
what will we do
in the coming year,
what are we being now?
Not how are we working
for a non-existent future,
in this present,
do we choose to be?
Not who are we becoming,
but who are we now?
Each second we breathe
we make choices.
Still, we work hard at time,
making time stretch,
trying to force time
to give us more,
praying for just a little extra
of a fictitious creation
when the only
thing that we have,
can ever have,
is our now.
We gather at our communion tables
hoping for a reprieve from
the tyranny of now.
But what we actually receive
is grace for a
that is new and
and really, isn’t that enough
for all the
of our lives?
For the Communion Table
with its bread and cup,
what we get
with every breath we take—