Today’s Guest


We Forget Time


An old clock in a store in Linwood, Md., bears this inscription:

Lo! Here I stand by thee in plight,
To give the warning day and night.
For every tick to thee I give
Cuts short the time thou hast to live.

Time has an elusive quality about it. It cannot be bought, bartered, or borrowed; it can only be used. Time has no qualitative value in itself its worth is calculated only in terms of how it is used.

In man’s most desperate moments his driving desire is for more time. When a deadline is approaching and a task is not finished, one longs for more time. When facing death, one pleads for more time.

Time is unique in that it has no past and it has no future. Time is only in the present tense. When referring to time past, we speak of time that was once the present but is now forever gone. Time has no future; rather, it is metered out in moments of the present.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time to be born and a time to die. Between those two epochal events Solomon lists 26 examples of how time is to be used. All of those activities are present-oriented activities that must take place in the “now” that God grants.

In the summer of 1972, I watched scientists from Brigham Young University painstakingly remove the skeleton of a dinosaur from the dry, rocky soil of a mesa in western Colorado. It is called “supersaurus,” the largest skeleton of a prehistoric animal found to date. Estimates of its age go back millions of years. That amount of time is mind-staggering. By comparison, it made me feel that my life is measured in seconds, not years. In reality, every life is measured in seconds. Rev. Charles Edwards stated the nature of time in the following lines:

Time was is past; thou canst not it recall;
Time is thou hast; employ the portion small;
Time future is not, and may never be;
Time present is the only time for thee.

Time must be used wisely. It is God’s gift of the moment. There are no tomorrows; only todays, as God grants them.

James David Hamilton Ed.D.