The other night, I had just managed to wrestle my three-year-old son into bed and was about to reward myself with a glass of wine when there came a cry of “Mummy!”
Rolling my eyes, knowing once again he was milking it, I trudged back upstairs to see what he wanted.
“Switch that off,” he demanded, pointing at the stars projected by his baby monitor onto the ceiling above his bed. “Darling, if I do that it will be dark in here,” I explained. He looked at me very seriously and informed me, “I’m not a baby anymore.”
I did as he asked and walked away heartbroken. As a parent, I spend half my time wishing my son would grow up, learn new skills and become more independent, and the other half desperately wishing he’d slow down, and be my baby for just a little longer.
Time both gives and takes away as it marches cruelly ever onwards. We try to tame it through organisation and good management, try to freeze it through video, photos and diaries. We dredge it back up in our memories in search of comfort, justification, significance. But we deceive ourselves if we think we can master it.
The Bible tells us there is only one master of time, only one who sees the end from the beginning: God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Yet he also subjected himself to the ravages of time when he took human form in Jesus. So, we find in God one who both commands time and who has had to dance to its merry tune. One who both sees the bigger picture and shares our tiny corner of the puzzle.
Lord of eternity, help us find joy and harmony amidst the discord of time. Dance with us as we go on our way. Amen.