Time. “So, honey, I was thinking about time again this morning.”
I was facing away from my honey, but I could hear his eyes rolling in his head. His thoughts projected on the ceiling above our bed, Oh, no, here we go again.
It isn’t the first time I have philosophized about the concept of time, much to my husband’s chagrin. It can’t be helped, it is just one (one of many) of life’s mysteries that stymies me.
“So, honey, I was just thinking about how arbitrary our measure of time really is. I mean, how did people measure time before we understood that the earth revolved around the sun? How could you determine what a “year” really was? How did they know in Biblical times? Why? How? What do you think?”
He muttered something about the stars and astronomy and something else about me being weird and left me to my musing. Of course I could reason (initially without the aid of Google) that days could easily be measured by sunrise, and months could be measured by the cycles of the moon, but years…well, that left us with seasons and that seemed to have a lot more room for variance depending on where you lived and the duration of any given season, subject to change during any given year. It really is just silly philosophizing because I learned that we now base our time using seconds as our measurement determined by some random thing that happens within an atom. Still seems rather arbitrary to me, but what do I know.
I also learned that I was not alone in my philosophical mental meanderings when it comes to time ~ scientists, theologians and philosophers have been engaged in this debate over definition for years. In my estimation, that just elevated me to an elite group of thinkers. My husband quickly brought me back to reality on that one since sometimes I have difficulty with basic math…and I still remain weird.
But I am still fascinated by time. It interests me that time is linear, that it is a human measurement, and really intrigues me that God is outside of time. Sometimes I wake up and say, “Honey, I think my head is going to explode.” And my honey will say, “Have you been thinking about time again?”
One thing I do know ~ our time here on this earth is finite. Our journey here has a beginning and an end. Like a road map with spaghetti lines all over it, we follow a line from one destination to another and we mark our destination by an arbitrary measure called seconds, that lead to minutes, then to hours, to days, weeks, months, years and decades. If we are blessed, our journey may last 8, 9 maybe even 10 decades. For some, the journey is short. None of us know ahead of time the length of our journey. But God says that for all it is like a vapor, a wind, a blade of grass ~ here today, gone tomorrow. Maybe our obsession with measuring time, keeping track of time, worrying about not enough time, and musing over the early measurement of time is really a waste of time. Maybe instead we should mark our journey by what kind of love we expressed to someone, the place where we sowed seeds of sweet joy, the well where we shared the living water of life. Now that’s something to think about.