Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A time for every purpose under heaven

Life's moments fill in time passing by. Moving on. Flowing along. Moments shift. Edges curl up along the pages of time unspent in one man's life. A page flips. Turns over. Time flows along, never standing still. Stunning news fills in a blank, pushes out what was there, waiting on the edges of the pages to happen. Waiting for the right time that will never come again. Time moves on.

C.C.'s nephew is gone. Nothing can change that. Nothing can bring him back. Nothing can fill in the spaces where he once had a place in the lives of those who loved him.

We breathe in. We breathe out. Time shifts. Our perspectives adapt. We begin to accommodate what has changed. To realign our thinking to encompass this new information. These new circumstances. This new place where time once held a different meaning. Where the ending was a distant horizon not yet arrived on this plane in time.

Nothing can change what has happened.

A man at the shelter almost died. He was tucked away in a washroom. Hiding his activity from prying eyes. Staff found him. It wasn't too late. Time had not yet ended for him. And now, time continues on unmoved by his circumstances. He will move on filling in the moments of his time here. Doing what he does. Or not. One day perhaps he won't be so lucky. One day, perhaps, it could be the last time for him. Or, one day, perhaps, he will make another choice. One day he might change direction and do something different, change how he fills his time. One day he might find the time has arrived to live his life with meaning, filling in his time well spent with something other than the drugs that are robbing him of the time to live his life on purpose.

Benjamin Franklin said, "Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of."

Time is the measure of the moments we have here. Time has no value. It can't be spent like money at the convenience store. Or banked like money in an account gathering interest, waiting for a better time to be spent. But time can be squandered. Indiscriminately. Thoughtlessly. There is no right time to begin filling your time wisely. There is no better time than now.

Thing is, it's time. That time. The time. Time to make the moment count. Time to fill it in before it's too late. Before it's gone, lost, used up. It's only a matter of time before we take our last breath. Before it's our time to turn a page that will never be written with us in it. It's time. Once upon a time, Pete Seger wrote Turn Turn Turn for the Byrd's:

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

The question is: What on earth is your purpose?

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