That Stuff Called “Time”

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Many of our words are related to the passage of time. We have the precise measurements of seconds, minutes, hours, etc. We also use many words to approximate time lapse (“whiles”, “moments”, “bits”, “later”, “soon”, “sometime”, “jiff”, etc.)

The scientist is more precise than most of us concerning a “jiffy”; to him it is the time it takes light to travel a centimeter, or .00000000003357 of a second! (How does that compare with your “jiffy”?) With all of the jokes and jests we use concerning time, let us never forget the respect that is due it.

Time is basic. Ben Franklin’s famous proverb is literally true: time “…is the stuff life is made of.” When you attempt to reduce our universe to its most basic properties, they all, eventually, must take their root in time. The end of the material universe and the end of time are inseparably linked by revelation (cf. 2 Pet. 3:10–12; 1 Cor. 15:23–28, etc.). Many think that money is basic, but it is simply another measurement of time.

Time is valuable. Because it is basic, it becomes exceedingly precious; it is so valuable that its true value cannot be fully expressed in human language. Because of its value, when we waste time, we waste much more than money; we waste life itself. Time is especially precious to believers, for it is during time that opportunity for laying hold of eternal life is available.

Time is fleeting. Time is “faster than a weaver’s shuttle” in its flight (Job 7:6). Juvenal, the Roman poet, observed:

The noiseless foot of time steals swiftly by,

And ere we dream of manhood, age is nigh.

The older we get the faster it goes until all of our anniversaries seem to appear with a dizzying frequency. There seems to be no way to slow down the pace and yet, it is not the clock that races; we race. If we live to be 100, what is that compared to 1000 years, or how much less duration when we vainly attempt to conceive of eternity?

Time is accounted. “Each one shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14: 12) is but a declaration that we must account for the way we have spent our time on earth. If time were not accounted, it would not be so precious. This is another reason why a waste of time is so awfully sinful.

John Kasper Lavater, the 18th century Swiss poet concluded well that “the great rule of moral conduct is, next to God, to respect time.”

[Note: The date and place of publication of this article is unknown. I likely wrote it in the early 1970s.]

Attribution: From; Dub McClish, owner and administrator.


Author: Dub McClish

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