By Maggie Parker
Time. Seconds. Minutes. Hours. Days. Months. Years. Time is something that seems to never quite stop, although in the moment, it may seem like one second could take up infinity. Yet looking back on that second, we wonder, “where did time go?.” We wish for time to slow down. We wish for time to speed up. We wish and wish and wish that we could alter time in a way that would allow us to either relive a memory that we experienced, or fast-forward through a time in our lives that we might not want to remember. We are always thinking about instances and circumstances that might have caused us to stop time for a moment, or caused us to wish that a moment had never happened. But what we don’t realize is that these seconds, minutes, hours, months, and years, are out of our control.
Admittingly, as a Enneagram 4, the Individualist, it is hard to acknowledge that as much as I want time to be structured a certain way, as much as I would like each moment of my day to be planned out, I cannot control the outcome of how these moments of time will be played out.
As I was writing this blog, I was reminded of the rent song Seasons of Love. The lyrics go a little something like this: in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches in miles in laughter in strife. In 525,600 minutes, how do you measure a year in the life?
I used to think that my life was based on those 525,600 minutes and everything that happened in them.
If something went wrong, I used to have a frame of mind that that one second was what would determine the rest of my day, or the rest of my life. If I wasn’t admitted to my dream school, if I did not get the grade I wanted on a paper, if I lost a loved one, I used to think that those were the moments, the seconds that defined who I was. It might be true that they were defining me, however, I did not recognize how. Friends, time has a way of telling lies. In reality, the moments where we might feel defeated, the moments where we might feel so broken and like nothing can ever put us back together again, the moments where we feel like we simply no one and nothing carry us through, do not define who we are as people or as believers. Something that I have learned being a CBF Scholar is the value of time and of identity and the connection between the two.
As a child, when I was thinking that I just wanted to skip through the sad moments and get to the times that were “happy,” I was doing myself a disservice. You see friends, God already knows that we will face these challenging moments in our lives. When we feel as if we want to fast-forward time, we are telling ourselves that God cannot carry us through. We are allowing Satan to push us away from our faith base and break the bond that we have with God. The bond that ensures us that no matter what, we will make it through. Something that Seminary has taught me is that even when we want to give up, God will be in our corner shouting “keep going.” Even when in those seconds of time where we said, “I am through God,” and threw in the towel, God still carried our burdens. It is a hard pill to swallow that not all of our moments in this life will be joyous ones, but it is comforting to remember that our Savior will continue to be there for us even in moments of trial and tribulation.
Most importantly, these moments teach us the value of community. They show us that even when we cannot carry our own burdens, that our faith communities will be there to help us carry them. Something I enjoy most about McAfee is this, no matter what, the community will always be there for each other. They will be there to help each other to live through those seconds that we so desperately want to forget, and they will help each other to remember those moments where joyful memories were shared, moments that we want to relive over and over again. So it is true that time is infinite, but it is not true that our time of sorrows and pains define who we are.
Only we can do that. So in those seconds, minutes, hours, months, and years that we have been gifted by God, let us make the most of it.
Let it be so, brothers and sisters, Amen.
Maggie is a CBF Leadership Scholar currently pursuing her Master of Divinity degree with a spiritual care specialization at Mercer University-McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta, GA. She is the current Student.Church children’s ministry intern through CBF and a Graduate Assistant at McAfee School of Theology. In her free time, Maggie enjoys traveling, and aspires to see all 7 wonders of the world in her lifetime! She also loves spending time with her service dog, Theo, a shepherd mix, and her husband, Matt who both bring so much joy to her life.