“There is a time for everything . . .” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
Time is where we live. Take away time and we take away the framework within which we know and are known by God. Without time life ceases to exist. Without time we do not have a locus for faith; a rendezvous with God. Without time we have nothing. Time is the air we breathe. Part of knowing fullness of life is a growing awareness of the fullness of time.
Time is our meeting place with God and because it is, it’s necessary to find ways to sanctify time. But how do we do this? We sanctify time by enhancing connections to the past and pushing forward into the future.
The present is enriched when we draw on the treasurers of Christian tradition. The new has to be tied to the old. The daily quest for relevance and meaning must be tempered, balanced, enlightened, infused, and deepened by our spiritual heritage. If everything we say and do is only geared to the here and now, time is stripped of substance. What came before, frames the present. The lives of those who preceded us influence and direct our lives today. If our stories are going to meaningfully intersect with God’s Story then we need to appreciate that the road to the future runs through the past.
What is true concerning the past is also true concerning the future. While pushing back, we also need to push forward. We need an approach to time that avoids the tyranny of constraint. If we are going to break free from having too few hours in the week, we will have to develop more of an eschatological context and experience time in a more ‘malleable’ way. One way of doing this is to recognize the temporal nature of our existence; to remember that everything as we know it, is coming to an end (cf. Revelation 21:1-3); to remember that we have an eternal destiny; to remember that “this world is not our home – we are just passing through” (Anonymous).