Since losing my husband, I’ve come to believe that time is a cruel mistress. When you want time to fly by, it goes slow. When you want it to slow down, it goes fast. I’ve gone through phases of feeling like I just saw Paul yesterday to feeling like it was a lifetime ago when I saw him last. I can remember when I was grieving intensely last year and all I wanted to do was find a fast forward button so I could get past the pain I was feeling. But I couldn’t.
I moved here to Waco last January, and for a while, time plodded on. I was finding new doctors, unpacking, learning how to get around town and performing other tedious tasks. I have two big events coming up soon and now time seems to be flying by so quickly that I feel as if I’m constantly chasing after it to try and get it to slow down. If you’ve ever tried to slow time down, you know how futile it is and how much stress it generates.
In just 16 days, I leave for a mission trip to Scotland. On top of still needing to raise over half of the funds I need to go, I have what seems like an insurmountable list of things to purchase, pack and do before I leave. In the words of DC Talk, “Time is tickin’ away, tick, tick, tickin’ away.” I have around nine weeks until I start graduate school. Back when I started telling people about this plan, I would always describe starting school as “in the fall.” For as unprepared as I feel for the mission trip, multiply that by 100 and you will have an idea of how unprepared I feel to start classes. This last week I had a dream that I was in class but hadn’t done any of the required reading and panic struck. Yep, the stress dreams have already started!
I came across a little poem by Dr. Seuss that I think sums up how I’m feeling right now.
How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
I started thinking about my behavior when I feel time passing too quickly and I see two things about me that I don’t like. First, I put God on the back burner. When I feel stressed, I go into troubleshooting mode. I try to fix the situation by developing a plan to get things back on track. This isn’t bad unless God doesn’t play a part in it. Once you edge God out, be prepared for things to get a whole lot worse. Remember, we must “seek FIRST the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 6:33)
Second, I lose focus on the people around me and become completely task focused. Again, tasks are necessary in our day-to-day life, but God is constantly bringing people into our lives every day. People who need Jesus. People who need encouragement. People God sends to minister to us. Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us to: ” … consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Do you feel as if time is flying by at the speed of sound? What ways do you use in an attempt to slow things down? Are there ways you can refocus on God and allow Him to put your timetable back on track?