Monday, January 19, 2004


Where does all the time go? You wouldn’t believe how many times I ask myself that question. Really, though, it is amazing how time moves. It’s so fluid that most of the time you don’t even notice it slipping by until you reflect on it, or until you don’t have enough of it. I sometimes think that I might be obsessed with time, but I’m sure everyone has their bouts with the clock and how the hands move too quickly, or if you’re at work, too slowly.

I’m 22 at the moment and in less than two months I’ll hit 23. It seems almost surreal that I could possibly be close to hitting that age already. I swear it was only a scant few weeks ago that I was wondering what it would be like to be a grown-up. I was sitting in a desk at Hayfield High School, spacing off into nowhere because I was bored, but all the while I was thinking—maybe not about the subject matter, but always about something. Even back then one of the most prominent things on my mind was time…well, outside of girls that is (I was going through puberty—‘nuff said). Now that I don’t have to worry about trying to get a date anymore I find that time has reclaimed its place on the top of the list.

Why do I really worry about time, though? It’s not as if there is anything I can do about it. I can’t slow down time any more than I can speed it up. If I could, I’d be at home reading comic books and watching movies all the time and when I had to go to work I’d speed time up so I could come back home and resume those activities. Maybe my worries are more akin to fears than they are worries. I am afraid of so many things that are time-related like aging, having to leave parts of my life behind, forgetting things, and then there’s the big one—death—the inevitable fate of all of us.

I’d often think about death as a kid when I was spacing off in school. It was the one thing that I had a hard time with. I realized that I wouldn’t always be here. Eventually I would stop breathing, my heart would stop, and I would no longer be alive. That was a scary thought for a kid who should have been thinking about the bowling party he was going to that weekend or the cartoons he watched on Saturday. Heck, I’m often still freaked out by the concept.

There’s more times than I like to admit that I catch myself pondering death. Sometimes it grips me so completely that I’ll panic. It’s usually when I think about the combination of death and time. I’ve only got so much time here on earth and then I’m done. Every day I get closer to that day, which is scary in itself, but for me what is even scarier is that time after I’m dead. Everything will keep moving on just like normal. Years will accrue. It’ll be 2100, then it’ll be 2200, then it’ll be the year 13,983 before anyone knows it. I’ll have lived approximately 11,000 years in the past and I probably only lived for maybe 100 years (if I’m lucky). That’s such a small sliver of time in the grand scheme of things.

Now, I am a strong Christian, which should alleviate most of these fears, but often it doesn’t. As strong as my faith is, no one still knows for sure that we exist after we die. The Christian faith, along with many other religious teachings of all kinds, tell us we’ll live beyond our death. There are even many philosophers who were atheists that found in their philosophy that our beings would exist indefinitely after death. Even so, how can we truly know?

This all matters to me so much because I want to make the absolute most of the small time that has been allotted me. I may only have one day left before I’m called to the great beyond, or I might have 80 years. I simply don’t know. I’m not promised tomorrow, and I realize this, but I don’t want tomorrow to be my last day. I never want to have to face that moment when I know I am gasping my last breath because I’ll be going somewhere that is completely unknown. I could cease to exist or I could end up in an everlasting paradise. Every day that moment draws closer, however, so I know that I must make the most of every second I have. Every experience I have I must enjoy as lucidly as I possibly can.

I try to live that way, and I try to make the most of every second, but even so I still have moments when I fear that my time might come before I’ve had a chance to do all that my heart desires. I pray that I would be allowed a long life here on earth, but you just never know. Let’s hope God grants me at least enough time to overcome my fears.

No comments: