I remember reading the Hobbit for the first time back in 1971 (yep, a long time ago). I remember it because I didn’t want the book to end. I was on an adventure with Bilbo Baggins and I didn’t want that adventure to stop. I had thought about not reading the last chapter just to keep it going in my mind, but then I heard about the Lord of the Rings trilogy and so the Hobbit ended.
That still happens to me once in a great while when I find a great read that draws me in. But the opposite is also true when I get into a book that drags on too much. I find myself skimming pages or even skipping pages just finish the thing.
The same type of thing can happen in life. We can find ourselves in a chapter of our life that we never want to end. We would like time to stand still and allow us to just savor the moment. The same opposite thing can also happen. We can find ourselves in a chapter of our life that we want to be done with yesterday. We can’t wait to see the next chapter begin as quickly as possible.
The truth of the matter is that “time and tide wait for no man” as Geoffrey Chaucer said so eloquently. We can neither slow time down, nor can we speed time up. Time is simply time and it continues on, even while I am typing this or you are reading it. It doesn’t matter if we are in a fantastic moment in our lives or a terrible moment in our lives, time remains the same.
Rather than hoping time stands still for a while during a good moment in our lives or wishing time away during a bad moment, perhaps we could learn from each what the Lord wants us to understand in that moment, that time. Most people don’t really struggle with the good times, but most of us do struggle with the bad times. Consider for a moment (in time) these words of St. Paul:
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
I confess to being a work in progress when it comes to both of those passages. Help us Lord to understand your will and be content in this moment we find ourselves in right now. If we aim at nothing, we are sure to hit it, so give me strength Lord to aim at both of these things in this very moment.
Trying to live in the moment with you…with God’s help,