Time Changes Things

Posted on January 10, 2012 
Filed Under Life, Personal

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

The late Andy Warhol said that, but is it really true? I’ve found that time DOES change many things.

For instance, late last month the toll of time caught up with my father-in-law, who had battled serious physical declines for several years. Having lived a full life for many, many years, and nearing his 90th birthday, his body started to shut down just before Christmas.

Finally, on December 31st he passed away.

Time caught up with him, and in an instant everything changed.

Richard was a good man, a great husband and father, and loved by many for his many fine qualities. He was a man of faith, and of deeply held values. He lived out those core beliefs daily, showing decency, generosity, integrity, loyalty and love to everyone around him.  He was an example to many, and we miss him dearly.

The past several years, though, left him chiefly unable to interact with others. A series of medical challenges took away his strength, mobility, and his vitality. Contrary to Mr. Warhol’s observation about changing things ourselves, Richard was unable to change that physical brokenness. I’m quite certain that if he could have, he would have done so! He would have gone golfing, fishing and hunting again. he would have gone to church, for a visit with friends, for a bite out. He could not overcome his unwilling flesh. Time, however, changed what the man couldn’t.

On that Saturday morning, the last day of 2011, Richard’s body finally gave up and his spirit left “this old world” for an eternity with God. He experienced a release from the sorrow and pain, the burdens of this life. The truth of eternity became his reality in an instant. Time released Richard from the shackles of this life, and freed him to enjoy life in heaven forevermore.

As we start a new year, many of us seek to improve. We make resolutions. We endeavor to lose weight, curtail spending, get our priorities in line, be a better employees. We try to do what Warhol suggested: change things. I’m not against personal improvement. I’ve got some parts of my life I’d like to get better at. But what if we find time changes things for us?

Psalm 139:16 says that all of our days were ordained and written in God’s book before one of those days ever came to be. God knows what this day holds, and what external forces will do to me. He is working His plan for our lives each moment, even when we don’t see His hand. We live in a world made up of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. And I believe that God is the giver of every moment of our lives. Ultimately, He sets the dates of our birth and our death. Albert Einstein said that

To know time as gift is to know that its basic rhythms and inevitable passing are beyond our control. And to know time as gift is to recognize time as the setting within which we also receive God’s other gifts, including the fruits of nature and the companionship of one another.

Perhaps in the coming year I’ll try a little less to make changes, and try a little more to see how time makes change happen. At the start of 2012, may time be a gift to you. May it change things you cannot. And may you see every day as one ordained long ago by God…a gift from His hand.