Time won’t fit in a bottle

Published 6:50 pm Friday, January 27, 2017

If I could save time in a bottle The first thing that I’d like to do  Is to save every day  Till eternity passes away  Just to spend them with you.”  Some of you will recognize these words as some of the lyrics from Jim Croce’s love song Time In A Bottle.  As the song continues, Croce expresses this thought:  “But there never seems to be enough time To do the things you want to do.”

We can preserve a lot of things in jars, bottles and cans, but time is not one of them.  Admittedly, there are some times and events of the past that I would not want bottled up even if it were possible, but the vast majority of what I have experienced in life thus far has been positive and fulfilling.  For this I am most thankful.

I often stand amazed at how quickly time passes.  Some of you who have followed my writings over the years might remember when I announced that our first grandchild had been born.  That little one that immediately changed my life did not stop time from flying by; now Mallory is thirteen and quite a young lady.  But she is not the lone star shining in our lives—Jaleah is now eleven and Addyson is six.  Those years escaped us quickly and contain many occasions that I would like to have in a bottle of time that I could go back and reopen so that I could revisit them again, but obviously that is not possible. 

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Thankfully our children and grandchildren are close by and can drop by to visit at almost any time.  But when it is just Gale and me, the house gets strangely quiet.   That is a temporary state, though, for they soon show up and fill the house with excitement again. 

No, we cannot bottle and preserve time, but we can and should–indeed, we must–use the present time as wisely and efficiently as possible.  As we do, we can rejoice that God is in control of time.  That which David acknowledged in Psalm 31 is true for us as well:  “My times are in Your hands” (verse 15, New International Version).  And in Psalm 139 David writes, “Your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be” (verse 16). 

The writer of Ecclesiastes makes a valid observation about life as he expresses this reality:   “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (3:1).  Like the changing weather, time and what it holds comes and goes; we must be very diligent to seize every day and utilize it to its full God-intended purpose before it passes away forever.

A most serious thought about the usage of passing time is that of taking advantage of the opportunity to receive God’s grace and forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ.  Paul provides us with a serious truth in 2 Corinthians 6 in the latter part of verse 2:  “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”  Such an opportunity cannot be put into a bottle and placed on a shelf to be revisited at a time of our choosing.  It is a matter that must be faced now while the time and opportunity still exist. 

Time won’t fit in a bottle.  But we can rejoice that we have the present moment to trust and follow the will and plan of God for our lives.