Last week, I wrote about how sometimes what we give is our time. When we're loving, time doesn't seem like a finite venture; it just creeps by and we don't even notice.
The same is true with purpose. What I'm finding is that honestly? Only purpose and passion can make you right on time. Not in the sense of getting there at an appropriate hour but in the sense of having the right view of what time really is.
We kind of lose that with our schedules. With our to-do lists, our agendas, our activities, our work all pressing in on us and making the days seem shorter than they are, making the hours go by too quickly, making us feel like we've lost this thing called time and we never get it back, then wondering where we're ever going to get more.
This idea of time as it relates to purpose and passion hit me first on my week of vacation at the end of May. I didn't go anywhere; everyone else did, and I had the house to myself. For the first time, I decided not to make it a week of "projects" but a week of just whatever seemed to strike me.
Two a.m. scribbles in the journal.
Things that time would tell me it's not time for...and then when it is time, I'm busy and so there's never time. Things that time would tap me on the shoulder and say, you can't play the piano at midnight. You'll wake up the house, and you have to be awake in six hours anyway. Except for that week, there wasn't anyone but myself to wake up...and I was up six hours later still and oddly energized from a little midnight keys. Scribbling thoughts in my journal at two a.m. because the thoughts woke me up and I couldn't think of a reason not to take that moment.
Those two little events changed my concept of time because it finally hit me that the time is now.
I think we get that when we live by the spirit. And we've all had those moments, those times that seem undefined by anything but the moments that they are. Not seconds. Not minutes. Not hours ticking away, but simply moments. In a moment, you're not asking when this is going to be over. It's over when it's over, and you'll know. It's the front-porch talks with family or neighbors. The late-night phone calls with long-time friends. The afternoon living rooms with those we hold dear. Leisurely dinners around the table. Weekend coffeehouses with long-lost buddies. Time in which there is no time because it is just now and you wouldn't trade it for anything.
And that's how you know when you're hitting on your passion and your purpose - when you're able to stop counting time. Or better, when you don't even think of counting the time. If you're sitting at work watching the clock, punching a time card, and waiting for the day to end, then your work isn't hitting anything in your heart. If you're sitting in church checking your watch, then something is inhibiting you from entering worship fully. Time is nothing but an obstacle to eternity. And we don't have to wait on eternity; it is here for us today. Eternity is the moment.
There are some things I could do forever and never blink an eye. And never know it's been forever. Because they are my passion. They are my purpose. And they don't run on a clock anyway. Sometimes, I write my greatest chapters in the middle of the night. Because my heart doesn't really know it's night. I can throw myself into building something and not realize it's been four days, five days, ten days because every second is pure energy. Purpose, passion, they get in us and make us forget about time. Then we realize inevitably what time it is...and do you know we almost never grumble about it?
When we get lost in time, when our passion and purpose are fueling our moment, when we're fully engaged in what this is - in eternity - and then we notice the clock, isn't our reaction always the same? "Huhm...I didn't even know." Then we sort of shrug and just get on with whatever. And we find that we're able to shift things around and somehow able, without even rushing it that we have just enough time? (Or for those of us who know how to rush it, too, don't we find that we more than catch up and then we have more than enough time..and now time to kill?)
Purpose is letting our moments entice us. Draw on us. Pull us in so we get lost in them. Then the second hand fades away and the minute hand vanishes...and we realize we're right on time. This is it.