Where are we going in such a hurry?

I thought of this on my drive home Friday.  Those of you who ever tried to find a new place while driving, without the aid of GPS, or even in the BC years (before cellphones), can relate to this.  Actually, maybe it holds true even with GPS, or anytime you’re passing through an intersection with multiple turn lanes, or other tricky situations.

When you’re nearing a destination, you slow down, right? At least most of us do.

You may also turn the radio down. I remember a comedy routine about that, as though the sound affects your vision.  It may have been George Carlin. I’m not sure.

The point is, when we’re not sure where we are or where we’re going, we tend to slow down and try to focus more. It just makes sense.

Now, let’s look at humanity as a whole. Everyone says that it seems like time flies by faster and faster. The pace of everyday life has picked up considerably. Like Brooks in the movie Shawshank Redemption observed, “.. I can’t believe how fast things move on the outside….. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.” Having been in prison most of his life, he didn’t get acclimated gradually like everyone else.

Yet, no one is putting the world’s brake on, even though we have no idea where we’re going or what’s going to happen tomorrow, let alone 50 or 500 years from now.

I know my Christian friends’ immediate thought: God is in control. Yes, he is. I firmly believe that.

The follow-up thought to that is that the second coming of Christ will bring a new beginning, a new Heaven and Earth.  One thing about that is that we don’t know when that will be. A day is but a thousand years to God.

I’m going to go way out on a limb here with my next thought. What if the second coming is an individual, spiritual event when we die?  “Every eye shall see…” Jesus’ return. Well, we all die. I’m no theologian or Biblical scholar. I have read the Bible in its entirety, but that was years ago, so maybe I’m forgetting something that would blow my theory. In any case, we don’t know how long we must maintain God’s creation to sustain us.

I guess as we collectively face long term challenges, we can only individually act to contribute what we have the ability to do. And we can pray, meditate, study, and reflect. We can invent, adapt and expand.

Finally, we need a safety line for this bumpy, chaotic, joyful ride through the torrent of time and space.  I hope you have found yours. Could be religion, a relationship, a strategy or belief system.

In the meantime, turn off the technology every so often and see where the spirit takes you. It’s okay. Take your time.


Father Time Fly-by

Did you ever get awakened by your bladder in the “wee” hours of the morning? Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun. It happened to me this morning at 4:30, about an hour before I get up for work.  My sleep apnea allows me to always get right back to sleep, so that wasn’t the problem. It was the fact that I merely blinked and the alarm was going off. Seems that way sometimes doesn’t it? So, off to work I went. Friday! Only a voluntary OT, half day tomorrow. Whoop, whoop!

To the newcomers, my day job is microfilming material for preservation. It’s mostly newspapers, for historical purposes. Not that anyone goes to the library to use a microfiche reader to pore through old papers. So, anyway, I was working on a project that involves various titles from all over Missouri, mostly smaller, regional papers. The issues were from just the last couple years, so I remembered a lot of the news since it’s not that long ago. It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for our nation, and the world really, but I’m not going to talk about the specifics.

Instead, I just wanted to share the perspective it gave me. Like that hour that passed in a blink this morning, I went through events of the last couple years in a couple of hours. (Only scanning over headlines as I worked. That’s all you have time for.) It got me to thinking about how little time we’re here, relatively speaking.

World conflicts, brutal regimes, scientific discoveries, medical advancements and all the grand spiritual experiences along with the crushing emotional agony of humanity, countered by the ebb and flow of progress and reactions. Is that what it’s like for God? A day is but a thousand years, according to the Bible. Mountains push up and fall, oceans form and dry up, civilizations come and go with a raucous cry that, cosmically, goes as quick as “the wave” at a stadium. (Do people still do that?)

Some people affect the entire world, for better or worse. Most of us toil away in obscurity. But the people around you feel your presence in the world. The majority of the masses will continue their family line and be remembered that way.  Others are remembered for their accomplishments or for the many kindnesses they extended. That makes it all worthwhile. To connect to one another and the world around us allows us to prepare our souls for the journey beyond, whether you believe that’s heaven or hell, a higher spiritual plane, or something else.

I speak to myself more than anyone when I say, make good use of your time here. Fill your days with meaning and it won’t feel like the days have slipped by too fast and empty. That’s why I’ve finally started to write more, and to engage more with others. We can actually slow down time in a sense, by deeply experiencing each day, absorbing and reflecting on events. Don’t just push everything out of your head because you don’t have the time or the energy to think about it. Live it!

Whatever you’ve been putting off, pushing down inside, denying or shutting out, stop!

Look up an old friend, make time to read, visit an elderly neighbor or relative, get back into that hobby you used to love, and most of all, seek out humanity in the fragile, flawed, awesome travelers around you. And as always, we’re all in this together!