All clocks were adjusted last week for an extra second due to changes in the speed at which the earth revolves around the sun. That means that there was an extra second on Thursday June 30th! How many times have you wished for extra time? - and yet did you notice any difference? Of course not.
The truth is that the only time we really have is the present. We can anticipate the future (and many of us do in the hope of better things) and we can remember the past, but we can only live moment by moment. Time is like a river flowing steadily in one direction, while we walk in the other. We cannot get back time that has been spent (or misspent), nor can we create more time. Each of us - from the busiest to the laziest - has only 24 hours in a day (with the occasional extra second...). It is important therefore to make the best use of the time we have NOW. There is no better time to show an act of love than NOW. There is no better time to seek reconciliation than NOW. There is no better time to forgive than NOW.
How often has an event passed and you've lamented, "Oh, I wanted to go to that", or a friend died and you've reflected, "I wish I'd taken the time to call/write to them." The assumption that there will be a right time for the difficult things is a dangerous one - it may never come, or may never be as easy as we are hoping.
Paul's exhortation to the Ephesians to "make the most of the time because the days are evil" (Eph 5:16), is a solemn rejoinder against complacency that "there'll always be tomorrow". One day there won't - at least not in the company of family and friends.
December 4, 1995
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