03 January 2019
The Crucible of Time ~ The Hour Glass
Greetings Dear Reader,
The hour glass has long been the image that helps me understand the phrase, “the fullness of time.” A newly upended hour glass looks precariously full. Immediately time begins to empty into the lower half of the glass. Single grains of sand pass from the future, through the pinch of the present, and into the past.
If one views the hour glass correctly it can teach us much about time. The first thing to do is dismiss the illusions of the hour glass. The most important is that it does not appear as constant as it is. As time flows through the pinch it does not seem to be moving at the same pace.
At the beginning the flow seems rapid then suddenly slow. One would think that the greater weight of the grains at the beginning would create more pressure and increase the flow. This is an illusion. Also, at the end it seems to speed up again. The truth of the hour glass is that it is constant. Time flows in a non-elastic linear measuring out our grains until they are gone.
Even when the hour glass performs perfectly it is only a silent amoral guardian of time. It serves time and its user and that is all. Unfortunately, it is the user that presents the other problem because the user gets lost in the crucible of the hour glass. In using time we too often focus on the impossible trying to be more powerful than time. A simple experiment will prove that we are not.
Take an hour glass and put it somewhere that is comfortable and allows ease of observation. Turn it so that the grains are at the top. Choose a grain that falls through and watch it. Keep track of it as long as you are able.
As the present falls into the past, other moments, now dead will cover the one you are watching. Soon or later that single moment will be impossible to find. When you lose track of that moment, push back and take in the entire hourglass.
Notice how many moments of the present have gone unnoticed because you were focused on the past. All of those moments are gone and irrecoverable. They were lost to you whilst you focused on something that was also already lost. Focus on the past always betrays us.
We cannot follow Christ in the present if we are focused on the past. Every grain of the past we focus on robs us of countless moments in the present. If we are to live in the moment then we must focus on every moment as it moves through the pinch. We must understand the past. We must not live in it. If we try then the mounting moments that follow will bury us under their unrelenting weight. We will drown in the moments that have been lost to us that we ignored.
We must live in the crucible of the pinch Dear Reader. We must dispel the illusions that we have about time. The only thing that will last is the love we invest in the present moment. The last illusion I would dispel is the one we sometimes share when we upend the hour glass.
We turn it, we start a new day, investing in our routines. We follow our practices. We think that we are bored because we go to the same job, do the same tasks, or make the same commute. We think we are on a wheel when really, we are on a linear journey. We are on a “spiral never-ending in an unrelenting course.” Each turn may use the same grains but it is never the same time, ever. The only grain we have is the present and the only thing that survives the death of the moment is the love we invest in that moment. Everything else burns away in the crucible of time.
I must own every grain given me with all the love I can give and accept. In this will I find that as the grains flow through the pinch I carry with me the only thing from the past that will survive, It is the only thing that can keep me moving in the moments.
Wishing you joy in the journey,
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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