The Passing of Time

Thought for the Month.

<<Tidings, May 2019>>

Recently, I re-read a short history of the Parachute Regiment. I bought the book in 1971 and at the time it was bang up to date. More than forty years have passed and, of course, there is no mention of the Falklands War – it hadn’t happened then.

sand clock

We talk about past, present and future. But the present can be so fleeting; each moment swiftly becomes the past. While a future event can sometimes seem to take an age to get here – as every child knows in December.

That set me thinking.

We measure time by the rotation of the earth round the sun and by how long it takes the earth to turn on its axis. We have a twenty-four-hour day, and twelve months (and four seasons) to a year. There are sixty minutes in an hour, and sixty seconds in a minute. Yet now we have watches measuring hundredths of a second and, in some sports, medals are won or lost by such slender margins.

Many sayings express how we feel about time: “I don’t have time”, “If I only had time”; time flies or it drags; time after time,  time and again. “Time will tell”, “Time on my hands”. Kill time, pass time, time is money – I’m sure there are many more.

While clock time is fixed, our perception of time changes.

The Bible offers some helpful passages about time and God’s relation to time: when we’re worried about getting something done, it’s worth remembering

“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day”
(2 Peter 3:8)

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

The most reassuring saying, perhaps, is this from Revelation (8:1):

“I am the Alpha and the Omega (says the Lord God): Who is, who was, and who is to come.”

Revd Ros Hoffmann, Hales