I remember the childhood game of Statue. Players were supposed to “freeze” in whatever position they were in when the word “Statue!” was shouted.
Sometimes I've felt the urge to seize a significant moment and hug it tightly, nail it down so it couldn’t get away. I want it to last forever. It might have been a particular period of my life or some enjoyable experience. If only I could freeze time at some ideal age or permanently capture an especially happy moment without any changes in my present family situation, my strength, or my health.
As years slip by, some people are eager to slow their pace and spend the rest of their days in a leisurely manner just “cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon,” as the sentimental song of bygone days would have it. Others are obsessed with running still faster from a sense that time is chasing them. Where’s the balance?
In our early years we struggle to fulfill ourselves through education, jobs, careers, possibly in marriage and family relationships. Our talents and skills and the approval of others impel us to run toward those goals. And we usually have enough energy to do so. Time seems to be on our side. We rarely give its earthly termination a thought—obviously we have a generous supply.
Suddenly, so it seems, we find ourselves in the mature years of life, and become aware that our energy has leaked out. But it dawns on us that we aren’t done yet! We haven’t finished what we started. We haven’t reached our goals. Many dreams haven’t materialized. We are forced to abandon some and readjust others. We haven’t yet become what we hoped to be.
In frustration and then panic we may frantically try scrambling up some earthly ladder toward completion, attainment, and success. Fulfillment seems illusive. We stare into the face of increasing limitations. It all seems to be downhill from now on.
When we were younger, time seemed to drag its feet. Now time is pushing the accelerator to the floor with both feet. Life is like mist or smoke: when we try to catch it, our fingers close around nothing. We keep asking, “Where did the time go?” Have we lost the entire centerfold of life? We feel crowded into a corner.
Trying to speed up or slow down or remain static is all fantasy! Much of life is beyond my control. I’m sure that I really wouldn’t be satisfied if I could stop time at this or any moment. I might miss what God has planned for me just around the next bend. What’s still coming may be better than anything I’ve experienced in the past or present. I might miss the invigoration of a fresh challenge, a hurdle to leap over, or a new mountain to climb. Sometimes the Lord saves the best wine until the last!
In any case, I don’t have a choice. In the mortal realm I’m temporarily locked into earth’s time frame and human condition. The clock ticks on until one day I step over into a thrilling eternal dimension where time is of a different essence.
Today is still the best day for me as a child of God. The choicest moment is right now! The Lord must have something special in mind to keep me around so long on Planet Earth. I’ve already lived many yesterdays. I don’t know about my tomorrows; God alone does. Today is the only time for which I'm accountable, and I have the awesome opportunity to live it totally for Jesus. I can’t afford to let today slip through my fingers without living it to the hilt and celebrating life to the fullest. While I live and breathe I still have time to be a faithful steward of the rest of my life.
Life may be crowding me into a corner, but I still have each new day to add more pages in full color to my life-book!
(From the chapter "My View from the Summit" in Leona's forthcoming book)