Time is a funny thing, isn't it? It's the one thing we all have in common.
Think about it. As different peoples, we sort of choose what is important to us. How we will communicate. How we will live. The way we will respond to each other and to our natural surroundings. Even everyone who speaks English doesn't speak the same English. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of languages and tongues all around the world, each with their own vernacular, their own vocabularies, their own characters. Some are written; some never are.
There are people who build homes on top of mountains while others build homes in mountains. Some that live by the ocean; others that live in the ocean, raising their homes on stilts. Some who live in homes like we know. Some who live in cardboard boxes. Some who have just a shaky set of a couple of walls to divide their domicile from another. Some who have no home at all but rather the entirety of space.
There are cultures that place high value on individual achievement. There are some that are more tuned to communal cohesion.
We have different value systems, both morally and monetarily. In the States, we pay in dollars. In Britain, in pounds. Euros. Rupees. Yen. Goat's milk.
All these decisions, millions of them, that we make about who we are and how we will live as a people...and no one has more than 24 hours in a day. Nobody. For those peoples who tell time, it's 24 hours, 60 minutes, 60 seconds. It's one system. Worldwide. Across all peoples.
Have you ever really thought about this?
Even in those cultures that do not track time, men still number their days. They know they have only from sunrise to sunrise, one full mark of time. One day. They know the number of days of their lives; they celebrate birthdays, or what passes for them. They know who is the eldest, who is the youngest.
Time is the thread that ties us all together. None of us has more of it than anyone else. A day is a day, an hour is an hour, a minute is a minute. A second is a second.
We cannot change time in our story by changing the way we talk about it. We cannot change time in our story by changing the way we live in it. We cannot change time in our story by changing the emphasis we place on it. We cannot change time in our story by changing the value we associate with it. Time...is beyond us.
Which is maybe why it's so easy to worry about such a thing as time. It's the one thing we have but can never really have. It is given to us, but it is never ours. We can touch it, but we can never hold it. Time is fleeting. Just as the seconds tick by, we feel it ticking away and we always wonder if we're going to have enough. Time is the one place where we are forced to rely on something greater than ourselves. It's why we worry about it, but it's also why we agree on it. We have no input; time is what it is regardless of man.
Time is what it is in reverence of God. It is He who created the sun and the moon, the earth on its axis, the rate of its rotation. It is God who declared how long it would take the earth to both rotate and revolve, the measure of a day and the measure of a year. It is God who has numbered our years, God who counts our days. It is God who controls time, although ironically, He doesn't need to.
For it is God who has eternity. And eternity is not counted in seconds or minutes or hours. Eternity is counted in moments, in breaths.
Time presses in on us. It's the one thing we can all seem to agree on. But even though time is greater than us, there is something greater than time: eternity. Eternity is given us for the glory of God.
Let us count our years in moments. Let us number our days in breaths.