Time won’t fit in a bottle

Published 2:34 pm Friday, October 4, 2019

For some reason kids seem to be fascinated by freshly shelled peas.  They might not eat them when they are cooked, but they like to run their fingers through the round legumes after Papa shells them.  As Madeline was standing near my side last week while I shelled some of my late season peas she was having a delightful time observing them and touching them.  (A lot has changed since I was eleven years old; at that age I joined in with the adults doing my share of the work).  Directly Raegan showed up in all her take-charge energy.  Her version of helping was grabbing the pods, breaking them in half and putting them back in my shelling bowl.  She soon noticed the accumulation of the peas and she, like Madeline, liked the way they felt, but she didn’t stop there.  After awhile she decided to taste of them.  Apparently she was not bothered that they were not cooked, nor was she concerned that they were not washed.  She just liked the way they tasted.  When her mother showed up to take her home, she started to grab all her hand would hold and packed them in her mouth as though it was a bowl of popcorn.

Moments like that are irreplaceable.  They appear for a little while and then they are only a memory.  I hope Madeline and Raegan will someday look back with pleasant memories at the times at Nana’s and Papa’s house and all the things we did together

“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.”

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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 today:  “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 fullest 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 an eternal 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.