It's About Time
It's about time. My time. It's amazing how many battles are fought over these four letters--T.I.M.E.
"I had no time to myself today."
"How am I supposed to get all this done with so little time?"
"You have more time to your self than I do."
The battle ensues and if I listen closely all I can really hear is, "Me, me, me." When I entered motherhood seven years ago, I had no idea that time would become my biggest commodity. My oldest did not nap until she was 18 months old. I remember walking through the house, literally feeling like I would lose my mind if I did not get some time to myself. Tim was deep into seminary, writing several books, and in the midst we had a colicky baby who refused to sleep. (To this day Lyric still fights sleep like it's the last battle cry of the hour, because for her it is.)
What I never considered was how this way of thought was actually an attack darkening my intellect. I would begin each day believing that those twenty-four hours were lawfully mine and if taken away, I had been wronged in some way.
In the Screwtape Letters, Screwtape gives Wormwood this advice:
"Now you will have noticed that nothing throws him into a passion so easily as to find a tract of time which he reckoned on having at his own disposal unexpectedly taken from him ... because he regards his time as his own and feels that it is being stolen. You must therefore zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption 'My time is my own'. Let him have the feeling that he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours."
Utter absurdity for me to think of time as something I own.
Ownership of time is an intellectual fallacy. I can steward time by making the most of the days and hours given me, but I can no more own time than I can own the moon. Time is simply a good gift bestowed to me by a good Father. As Screwtape continues, "The man can neither make, nor retain, one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift."
This Gift of Time
It's been a hard week as we found out several days ago that a dear friend in the prime of her life is unexpectedly up against time. And yet, in the midst of such heartbreak she posted these words of Martin Luther, "Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."
How can a shattered heart breathe such truth? Because she knows Who owns time.
The God who created time, holds it in His hands, and gifts it to each of us. We don't own it. We never have. But we can rest in the knowledge of knowing Him who possesses time.
I've come to think of "my time" differently this week; as pure gift from the Father. He appoints the days, the seasons, the times, and He numbers our days. My friend finds hope because she knows the Lord has appointed her days and seasons, and her life is wrapped up in Him. She knows that when time has run out, her Father will say, "She is Mine."
Lewis says it well when he has Screwtape instruct Wormwood: "And all the time the joke is that the word 'Mine' in its fully possessive sense cannot be uttered by a human being about anything. In the long run either Our Father or the Enemy will say 'Mine of each that exists, and specially of each man. They will find out in the end, never fear, to whom their time, their souls, and their bodies really belong."
I am not the lawful possessor of these next 24 hours. I have merely been given a gift. A gift I want to share with others, with those I love. I want to live each moment not thinking of "my time" but of "our time" together. I want to lay my head upon the pillow at night knowing that He is singing His love melody over me: "I am my beloved's and He is mine."