Photo by Alvimann on Morgue File.
Tell us about times in which you linger — when you don’t want an event, or a day to end. What is it you love about these times? Why do you wish you could linger forever?
As you get older, time lingers less and less. I noticed in my early to mid-twenties that time felt as if it had sped up on me. I hear the older you get, the worse this sensation becomes.
If I could linger. If I could stop or slow time I would pick a handful of days. First, I would want Saturday to linger. I work a five-day work week. I am off the traditional weekend: Saturday and Sunday. I enjoy Saturdays because they are days when I can, usually anyway, do what I want. For instance, the past two Saturdays, I have spent practically all day in the garden, tilling it and planting. It is hard work, but I enjoy doing it. I wish there was more time to be outside, to work in the dirt and spend in the garden.
Other Saturdays I may choose to study for a bible study or preaching engagement. I can sit for hours at a time studying, reading and typing. I have the ability, if you want to call it that, to get lost in the exercise. There never seems to be enough time to get it all done. I would want these times to linger.
Still other Saturdays I may just hang our with the family. My wife and I may go shopping or to eat. I may play with the girls most of the day. On these days we just kick back and enjoy the free time. We enjoy the time together.
Of course, these are the other times I would want to linger. These times I spend with my wife and my daughters. Whether it be a Saturday or weekday or whenever. I wish these times lasted longer. Already it seems the girls are growing up far to fast.
My stepdaughter is fifteen, going on thirty! Before you know it, she will be graduating high school and getting out into the real world. My oldest daughter is four, going on fifteen! She is tall for her age. Before you know it she will be starting school and will be talking about boys and make-up! My youngest just turned two. And, like the others, she thinks she is much older than that! People have been commenting recently how much she has grown. My wife does not like this. As she says, she is her last baby. We both wish this time, this time of them being young could linger forever.
I remember as a kid, it felt as if Christmas or summer vacation came around about once every five years! Now, it seems Christmas comes around once every six months or so! It really is amazing how your perspective of time changes as you get older.
I am a few months from forty; which, by the way, does not seem nearly as old as it once did! I think back to when I was fifteen or seventeen and, in some ways, it seems like it was only yesterday. Then again, in some ways, it feels like a lifetime ago. I tend to keep my nostalgia in check. I try to live in the time I have, which is now. I appreciate the past and remember most of it fondly. I look forward to the future and understand goals and hopes are important. But, I try to spend most of my energy in the now: the present. After all, it is really the only time we ever have anyway. It is so fleeting. Life really is one constant now.
The bible tells us life is but a vapor (James 4.14). It is like a puff of smoke that appears for a moment and then dissipates just as quickly. That may sound rather depressing to many of you. And, in a way it is. But, at the same time, it is a reminder to us not to take life for granted. It reminds us to live now: to live in this moment. We can learn from the past. We can be thankful for the past. We can regret and even mourn the past. But, we cannot truly relive it. It is past. The future, while it may come, is not certain. We may have a list of goals and things we wish to do, but ultimately we are not in control of that.
God has given us now. He has given us this time to live and honor him. As Christians, this is the time we have to serve Christ. We may have served him faithfully in the past . . . and, that is good: but what about now? Perhaps our past commitment to Christ is a disappointment, maybe we regret we were not more faithful to him. This is understandable, and we all have such regrets. So, what do we do? Do we sulk and sit and continue to be of no use to God’s kingdom? Or, do we repent of that and move forward? We may even have dreams of what we will do in the future for Christ. Maybe we dream of the day the kids are grown or we retire and we will have more time to serve him. This is well and good; but, what about now?
Now is the time. If any time lingers it is the now. Again, life is basically a perpetual now. When you think of now it is already past. When you plan for the now it is already here and gone. In this sense, the future never really arrives. It just simply is now.
So, in this now that lingers, let us serve and live for Christ. Let us show forth his love and grace to those around us. Let us make a difference in his name. Let us not take the time he has given us for granted; but rather, let us live as unto the Lord. Let us live out of a heart of gratitude for his grace and blessing.
There are so many things out of our control, but this we can do. We can choose to live now. We can choose to seek life in the present. If we do, we may find time lingers a bit longer than we thought.