I think back over the 2 plus years since I left college and all the change that has happened around me. I am in awe in just what has happened to those I love most dearly as we have exited adolescence and come into full adulthood. Weddings, pregnancies and continental moves dominate the social media feeds where dimly lit rooms filled with empty glass bottles once resided. Since college, friends have moved overseas, across the country or moved to the home in which they were raised. They live in places like California, Denver and Pittsburgh. I have friends who teach and others who learn. I have friends who are employed and others who are looking. I have friends who are confident and others who are doubtful. Instead of the 4.0 scale GPA posts, I now see houses being bought, jobs being accepted, engagements being proposed. As much as it sounds like a cliche phrase and overused, it seems as if we are growing up far too fast. Regardless of the rate, it cannot be denied that we are growing up and I doubt many felt it coming.
As our journeys have continued, we understand that the future holds an impossible amount of possibilities and resolve to live in uncertainty and oftentimes complacently. We face the temerity of time like unaffected beachgoers who allow their sandcastles to be washed by the rising tide. Lifeless and unchanged, often we do not give much thought to the progression of time and our place in it. And I am puzzled as to how this could be?
To give these thoughts more understanding, I will pull from my own story. As I have approached the one year anniversary of my moving to Atlanta, I have been reflecting on all that has been accomplished by my peers and me in such a short while. A lot has changed and happened since then and looking back, I can say that I did not appreciate then, what I appreciate now. I did not appreciate time with family now far removed. I did not appreciate time with old friends that I would trade just about anything to be with again. And I see it happening now. Even as I write, I do not appreciate the new people, new friends who are and will continue to affect my life. I think this is how the temerity of time steals from us. Life, presses forward, one second at a time without a care as to what has come and what will come. Oftentimes, we don’t notice that the seconds advance and we can’t get them back again.
Each moment and experience is unique in how it relates in time and space. This should cause each of us to meet each day with a joy and wonder as if we have never lived before. However, I see myself and others shrug off today as if it is just another monotonous occurrence that will extend into eternity. But it doesn’t. It is gone and we only can relive it in our memories.
Here is a quote from one of my favorite authors, GK Chesterton:
As humans, do we understand the every day as Chesterton describes or do we waste our time wishing for a “better” more varied life? Do we rush through our lives, taking for granted that the experience that we have now will never happen again? I know that I have been guilty of this many times, selfishly consulting my budget and comfort over the joy of understanding what it means to have a life well lived.
There are many regrets that I have as a result of letting time slip by too carelessly. Like a man on his death bed, I wish for more time spent with family, friends and loved ones. I wish for wishing less, and doing more. I would love to go back and not hope for things unattained but live in the now, trusting that God will be good and resting in that no matter what will come, I can face it with Him.
The beauty of where I am right now is that I can push forward in that hope! Paul writes to the church in Phillippi “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” As time pushes forward, second by second, I have the advantage of youth. Laid out before me is a variety of options spread out over the collections of years. For many of us, there is still time to resolve to seize the day. The question is, will we?
We are all in this together and whether we realize it or not we are on the cusp of something larger than ourselves. Time marches forward, bringing the new, bringing the next and all the while we experience the now, unaware of what is coming. With our own temerity, we should march out to the precipice of the unknown and unfamiliar like westward-facing pioneers on the plains of time. We are explorers, adventurers and discoverers uncovering the mystery of God and his creation. For with God, it is not as if it has been created but more that it continues to be so, every single day.