Won’t it be nice to be out of time?
I’m serious, and I repeat: Won’t it be nice to be out of time?
I don’t wonder that you’re confused. You’re probably thinking: Whaddaya mean? “Nice” to be out of time? I find myself “out of time” innumerable times every week, and running out of time may be many things, but “nice” is not one of them. Try another word, Bucko!
How about “frustrating”?
Maddening? Depressing? Infuriating?
I think all of those words well describe how most of us feel when we “run out of time.”
A job to do.
A test to take.
A vacation to enjoy.
A conversation to savor.
A flavor to savor.
A letter to write.
A book to write.
A book to read.
A race to run.
A game to play.
A nap to nap.
A puppy to hug.
A marriage to delight in.
A child to raise.
A grandchild to snuggle with.
A laugh to laugh again.
A friendship to nurture.
A story to tell.
A time to say, “I love you.”
A life to live.
And you can add plenty of items to my list. But don’t take too long, or . . . you’ll run out of time.
The bell will ring.
The alarm will go off.
The vacation will end.
The job will lose its joy.
The time for the laughter will be lost.
The strength you need to play the game will vanish.
The friendship will be fractured or the friend long gone.
The marriage, still cherished, will be over because marriage takes two and one has stopped breathing.
The marriage, now bitter, will be over because marriage takes two and one has run away and trampled on vows.
Ah, we’re always running out of time—until the day we really run out of time when the “grim reaper” visits and . . .
I was bemoaning to my brother the other day that I had one week in which to do the work of two. It’s so hard to get ready to be out of town; you almost wonder if it’s worth the effort. It is. But my email to him ended, “It’s always so hard to get off [on a trip]!”
His reply: “Not if you have a heart attack, like the guy I’m burying this afternoon. He’s off! Too bad that’s what it takes to finally stop the race.”
Hmm. So we run, and run, and run. I sometimes wonder if we run so hard lest we ever have to slow down . . . and think . . . and ask ourselves if what we’re running after is really worth the race. We can’t even seem to rustle up the courage and the discipline necessary to turn our cell phones off for one whole meal and be fully present with our companions, much less the courage to stop and consider why we’re always running.
Do we ever give any thought to taking a vacation of a different sort occasionally that is actually designed for rest and not just diversion (by which I mean just a different sort of fast-paced busy-ness than our usual business)?
We tend to just run. And run. And then the time comes when we run “out of time.” Sad.
But this is also true: For those who’ve taken the time to center their faith on the eternal God of Heaven, surely one of Heaven’s best blessings will be to be “out of time.” Truly. And to have all eternity to drink in God’s joy and do, well, anything that brings Him glory and magnifies His—and your—eternal joy forever.
No tears there, we’re told. No clock-watching, either.
Copyright 2021 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.