Our Battle with Time

Our Battle with Time

You are not required to justify your existence.

I’m in my bedroom, about to lay my head on my pillow, reflecting on how this was just another day that felt like so little had gotten done. Perhaps my expectations were skewed, to begin with? What did I truly believe I was capable of accomplishing?

You are not required to justify your existence.

When I hear the Father’s words in my heart, I become disoriented and desperate for a reset: productivity. Expectation. Accomplishment. Time.

Father, for the majority of my life, I have sacrificed the miracle of the present for the ever-elusive false promise of achievement in the future. The gift of a moment lost when time is something to conquer, manipulate, and control for the sake of the future. What have I paid? Peace. Happiness. Love. To interact with God, I must, of course, be where He is. I must be present at this time.

The issue is that I am both here and not here. I avoid the present by frequently reflecting on the previous moment (the past) or looking forward to the next thing (the future). I admire history’s potential wisdom and the glorious vision of what might be. The sacred, holy present is frequently overlooked.

My relationship with time is complicated, and it is closely related to my other battle with believing that my accomplishments prove my worth. I am ecstatic at the start of the day. Mornings wake me up energized and full of what seems like limitless possibilities. For a solid four hours, the mantra “Anything is Possible!” plays like the Lego Movie’s incessant jingle, “Everything is Awesome!” (Well, not exactly, but you get the point.)

I try to get as much out of each day as possible—even a walk around the neighbourhood with our sweet dog or a stretch in the garden, arms to the sky, and gazing at the beauty of a flower are moments I can equate as values for the future (exercise is good for my body and will help me relax tonight; fresh air will give me peace and help me focus this afternoon) rather than values for the present.

Then, as the morning roller coaster turns into late afternoon, then evening, I habitually and unconsciously turn inward, assessing my completion—or lack thereof—of achievements that day as markers of my personal success or failure.

Oh, Father, I have created my own god. Please forgive me.

“Yet God has created everything to be beautiful in its own time.” Even though He has implanted eternity in the human heart, people cannot see the full scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

In reality, I know that time, each present moment, is a gift. But just thinking about it makes me sad, as if these sacred and holy moments come one after the other and never stay. One comes and goes, and another comes and goes, and I become terrified of everything I don’t know and can’t change or control.

You are not required to justify your existence.

And I allowed His words to sink in. I’ve been soaking in them for days. Simply put, I’m sick of trying to justify my life—justifying my life is an impossible task. There is no reason to justify love. There is no way I could have earned it. There is no way to get there from the past or the future except here, here, here.

These idols, these fears, come from deep within me. A place of inadequacy. Self-loathing. Malcontent. And I’m allowing Him to love me here. And I’ve seen glimpses of the cross reflecting in the morning light, afternoon light, and the sun’s gentle sinking in a dozen places this week since I heard His voice speaking to my thoughts.

Jesus, come. Now. Come and catch my tired, weary heart.

What is your relationship with time like? What are your thoughts? How do you feel about it? How do you approach it?

This week’s Loop Poetry Project asks you to write a poem about time to express your feelings about it. If you let it, Time will tell you a story. What does your heart want to tell you about Time and your attitude toward it throughout your life?

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