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Every Moment Time Stands Still

Busy today. A bit crazed, in fact. I’d like to say I’m good on days like these, but I’m not. In truth, they make me retreat into fantasy. Anything to escape…

"Do you have the time," the clock asks, no doubt amused by the irony in his statement, I’m sure. Cheeky clocks are forever messing with me for no apparent reason.

"No, not really. But thank you for pointing that out." I won’t be cowed by this. He knows I won’t. He’s so smart, after all.

"Then why are you still here?"

I wait, consider his reason for asking this of me, watching the little black line pass the 6, the 7, the 8, jerking the seconds away.

"Because I have work to do."

"Do you?"

"What do you mean ‘do I?’" getting agitated now. "You know I do."

And then, he’s silent. The merciful quiet startles me for a moment, and I look up. The tick-tick-taunting of the second hand has stopped.

"This is it. You’ll never have this moment again. How you’ll spend it is up to you. No one has to do anything they don’t have time for. Each moment is a gift."

Wow. Well, I guess I know who’s been reading Ecclesiastes while I’m gone. But he’s right. Whether or not he sounds like a PBS motivational speaker. I know he’s right.

I could swear his placid, circular face is glaring. "Stop trying to be so smart all the time. Stop convincing yourself of what you have to do. Just stop. All of it."

I stare at him, this ordinary desktop clock that’s able to convict me with aphorisms and stop time. The moment endless. What will I do when time stops forever, as it certainly will eventually? What will be my excuse then?

"Okay," I say. "I don’t have to work." I look down at my fingers. Empty, calloused hands. "But then what do I do?"

The ticking resumes.

"Just enjoy."

I blink, adjusting to this new reality. Time and time to enjoy it. How novel. I suppose it could be an answer. Of sorts.

I stand and turn from the desk, the clock, the keyboard, the screen, the scales falling off.

Maybe it’s a new world. It could be.

5 Responses to “Every Moment Time Stands Still”

  1. Interesting you would post this. I’ve been thinking about time a lot lately. Each moment is currency–freely placed in our individual time banks by a generous God who asks only that we spend it to His glory. At some point the funds will have been exhausted, the account will close, and He’ll inventory our purchases with us. “Hmmmm. You invested heavily in spotless house stock. I suppose seeing your reflection in a wood surface has its merit, but I tend to prefer a sticky, jelly-smeared motif Myself.”
    So much of the pressure I feel throughout the day is entirely self-induced. So much of what I do DOESN’T MATTER. It’s worse than throwing money out the window, because time can’t be reimbursed.
    I suppose logic might follow this train of thought to an even more frantic lifestyle–a desperate attempt to squeeze “life” out of every second. But “life” doesn’t equal frenzied activity. More often than not, the best time investment is being still and knowing He is God.
    Thanks for a great image, Mick! May each of your moments today be magical.

  2. Katy Raymond says:

    This got to me, too, Mick. I have one particular clock, in my kitchen, that has the LOUDEST tick and tock of any clock ever. One day last week my husband walked through the room and caught me sing-songing a little ditty in time to the clock–something like, “Life’s ticking away, life’s ticking away…” He laughed. When I asked him if he ever thought of the clock as ticking down the time he has left on earth, he said “no.” I must be weird–I consider it daily!
    Dr. Richard Swenson of “Margin” fame spoke at our church a couple weeks ago. I had looked forward to it so much, having benefitted from his writing. When the day came, I’d become so embroiled in elaborate plans for my mother’s birithday party, that I couldn’t make time to go!!!
    It’s bad when you can’t make time to listen to a rousing message on “margin.”

  3. siouxsiepoet says:

    i wear a watch that doesn’t work. (weird, i know) but it reminds me of my certainty of nothing. not this moment, not the next. i live in a place detached from time, and often say, i’m not bound by the constraints of time, not be be godlike, but to remind me that i’m not bound by those things. i’m not locked into some routine and destined to plod drudgingly through each day. i can dance, play, spend time in the garden, wash dishes and pray (how brother lawrence of me). but it is me enjoying time, not time riding me. i do shabbily when i feel like i have too much to do. too many books to review. too little to say about anything of dear import. but then i take a nap and get over it. ride the coaster, life can be thrilling. or crap. depending on the day. i’m ready for some fun though. liked the piece. it evokes my words and that is hard to do lately.
    peace. suz

  4. Wow, Mick the Editor is also Mick the Poet!
    And a good one, too!
    Thank you for this, Mick. You painted an image in my mind with no blurry lines at all. Just a clear picture with well chosen words, conveying a message I needed to hear and a concept I needed to see.
    Write on, my friend,

  5. Mikal says:

    Incredible, Mick. I’ve always known you’ve had it in you. It’s amazing how much truth there is in this piece. Thankfully, I refuse to wear a watch or anything else that reminds me of time. Just like I don’t have a cell phone so I can’t always be “connected.” Life is way too precious for clock-watching and always being “on.”
    Thank you for writing this. You’re a true gem.

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