Sunday, August 16, 2009

Time Speeds

Great philosopher, Ferris Bueller once quipped, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

"Blurring . . . Whirring . . . jumbled colors . . . sight and sound . . . does life ever feel to you like a scene in the old Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie? You know, the one where Willie Wonka puts them on his whimsical boat and they sail off into a tunnel filled with disjointed and terrifying images projected all around them while he screams bizarre and disturbing poetry into the strange glow? Everyone is so relieved when he yells, "Stop the boat!"

Life does move fast. Life is filled with change and challenge, the unexpected, the unwanted and t
he uncalled-for. But life is also filled with joy and laughter, dreams and fulfillments, pursuits and triumphs, the tried and true, the glorious, the counted-upon. It IS a bit of a jumble, priceless treasures thrown in the same blender with hideous gargoyles and almost worse, meaningless junk. It's hard to make sense of what is going by so fast.

I see this so often as a mother. It is all too easy to get caught up in the daily demands and details of raising children whether it's diapers or caps and gowns, kindergarten enrollment or college applications, broken toys or broken hearts, "Mom, we lost the game," or "Mom, I've lost my way," trips to the store or trips to the emergency room . . .

I'm so thankful that I learned from my own mother how to savor a moment, how to just enjoy the moment that IS, how to collect moments like jewels to be prized and admired and passed down as heirlooms. I am too often aware of how fast it's going, how quickly my kids are growing, how soon they'll be out and on their own, and I want to yell, "Stop the boat!" But in life, as in motherhood, I can't stop the boat any more than I could stop the process of labor in the delivery room when I hit that inevitable moment when I wanted to say, "I changed my mind, I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS!" Too late honey, the only way out is through!

That's right. The only way out is through. And the only way to keep up with time as it speeds relentlessly at its own breakneck pace, is to make a point to stop and notice. Collect the heirloom of the twinkle in her eye when she makes the whole family laugh with her dry wit, freeze frame the passion he wears when he performs on stage like the showman he is, capture and save the crazy, scary-deep love that gets you through an argument that tests your connectedness.

Time speeds by completely beyond our control, but it still has to happen one moment at a time. Choose to notice the eternal in the split second, the everlasting in the fleeting. Never spend time, always redeem it. Collect, compile, concentrate and catalog each glimmer of always in the speeding droplets of this vanishing-vapor life.

"Teach us to number our days aright, That we may gain a heart of wisdom."
Psalm 90:12 NIV

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