This weekend, many of us are experiencing a time change. Time is a funny thing. In our society, we depend on knowing the precise time—checking our watches/phones, waiting for the long beep on the radio (at least for CBC listeners), and twice a year re-setting a multitude of devices (or be at the mercy of the ones that reset themselves).
We set appointments by the day and the hour, our conversations treat time like a tangible entity (we have, make up, and lose time, and Whovians find it wibbly-wobbly.)
Yet, realistically, we’re not talking about time; were talking about arbitrary numbers on a clock or calendar.
Imagine if our lives were not governed by this understanding of time; if time was not linear, if it ebbed and flowed organically, if we set our lives by the course of the sun and the rhythms of our bodies. Without dates, many would not know their age (though, who would want to live without birthday cake?!)
Imagine the flow of daily prayer and worship without the distraction of the ticking clock; of the Spiritual journey progressing without checking availability in the daytimer. Imagine preparing for God’s presence as though the earthly time keepers didn’t matter.
Because God does not work based on our understanding of time, restricted by earthly numbers or divisions. God is timeless. God doesn’t wear a watch or carry an appointment calendar. God’s time is beyond our imagination; present to us yet beyond the limitations of our societal norms.
When we are reminded in Matthew 25.13 to trust in God’s time (“Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour”), we are reminded that preparation for the kingdom will not get scheduled in the calendar. It is not like getting the house or food ready for guests, but recognising the coming of God at any time and any place; in every time and every place.
Thus we acknowledge that everything we do may be our last opportunity, our last moment, in this realm. Each time we speak, we can choose words that we would be happy to have as our last. Each time we hear someone else’s words, we can choose to listen and feel the emotions we would be happy to have as our last. Each that we do, we can choose to be happy to have as our last accomplishment. Each prayer, song, action could be our earthly last, and so we might use them as opportunities to reach out to the world in love.
God will not use our cultural reference of time to reveal the day and hour of the coming of the kingdom. God does, however, speak to the deepest part of ourselves, inviting us to respond in love—every day, every hour, with joyful expectation and resounding hope.
Perhaps then, our real challenge this weekend is not the changing of the clocks in our homes, but the changing of how our hearts use this earthly time to celebrate God’s presence in our lives and our world.