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  • Writer's pictureApril Elizabeth Finlayson

Time As a Gift: How are you perceiving time?

Updated: May 27

Eat right, ‘meal prep,’ exercise, spend time outdoors, build your faith, read 10 pages daily, take 10,000 steps,  have a self care practice, be successful at your job,  climb the corporate ladder, and don’t forget to make time for your hobbies, friends and family! These are just a fraction of all the things we are expected to accomplish in a 24 hour period,... while getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep. 

Naturally, time in our modern world feels like anything but a gift. 

Time as we know it has become the thing of impending deadlines, a measurement against the status quo, a reminder of your shortcomings, and quite frankly something that you just do not have enough of! These days, time can feel like an impending ring of judgment just lurking around the corner to proclaim that you are not doing enough, or even being enough. Yet, somewhere within your core, you and I both know that this could not have been the true purpose of time in the mind of The Creator, and we are right! [28 words]

Time, and the passing of time, in our natural world is an intricate canvas of ebbs and flows, known, and unknowns which move along in both an episodic (albeit sometimes jarring) and rhythmic fashion. Time, unlike what you have been made to believe since grade school, does not move in a linear manner. Time is simultaneously cyclical and continuous, designed to support rising, blossoming and blooming. While it is also intermittent and repetitious which brings with it birth, death, decay and rebirth once again. 

Just think of the seasons in life that we experience both literally and figuratively. We watch plants, trees and people—bud, blossom, bloom and return to dust— to then watch it again, again and again. Spring brings with it new life, opportunity and hope, it then gives way to summer, sunshine and exuberance, which then retires to the tranquility of autumn, just to be met with the frigid barren of winter and then it starts over again, to later repeat itself yet again.  [82 words] 

When we view time through a long-term lens it is easy to accept these truths, and embrace ‘Time’ with the principles and honesty that she brings. Yet, when we are experiencing time in our day-to-day it somehow becomes more complicated to manage and more difficult to accept. This challenge creates the chasm between time as we have come to know it, and time and it should be! 

In the day-to-day we forget that to fully reach an apex, and gaze over the mountain of a summit, it must come with an inner knowing and fidelity to the reality that we must descend the mountain we have just ascended. In our day to day “doings” we neglect the ebbs, and incessantly seek a never ending barrage of flows, we make space for knowns but no room for the unknowns. This is not natural or sustainable. [77 words] 

In all of our “doing,” we forget that while time helps us to track our progress,  can serve as a barometer for our successes, and act as guidepost and compass for our goals, time is also designed to be the nurturer of our being, a comforter and cushion to the unknowns. Time, in its highest and purest form, is a multifunctional tool and a gift. Time is four dimensional; time is (present), time was (past) and time will be (future.) Yet, time is also only for the moment (precious present/fixed) and forever (the eternal.) [30 words] 

When Moses asked God, “What is your name?” The Creator responded “YHWH” which has been translated  from Aramaic and Hebrews as “I am, that who is, and that who will be (I am that I am)” The Creator who does not exist within the constraints of our time, gives us an insight into who He is, which is anchored in a waltz between time and being. This means that the primary function of who you are in the context of time and your existence is marked more by who you are ‘being,’ rather than what you are doing. Remember, we are ‘human beings’ not ‘human doings.’ 

This revelation should be the anchor and sustainer as we repair our daily relationship with time. The gift of time is to feed, sustain and support your being. How many items on your daily list truly does this? Prioritize those things, and time will tell for the rest. It is natural to have days you don’t ‘meet the mark,’ days where you are more reflective than proactive, days that will feel like winter, in contrast to days that will glow like spring. Time is your most precious gift, something you cannot get back, unlike money or possessions. Therefore, the greatest gift you can give anything is your time! 

Dr. Myles Munroe is famously known for saying “If you do not know the purpose of a thing, abuse is inevitable” Let’s repair our relationship with time, and prioritize its true purpose, which is a gift to transform your being for personal transcendence.  

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