Is there a way to make time fly?
The truth of the matter is that every day, every hour, every week is exactly the same length as every other day, hour or week. No matter who you are or what you do, each day has 24 hours and your days are the same size as everyone else’s.
Sometimes we use the phrase ‘working long hours’ as if such hours exist. On other occasions we talk about ‘time management’ as if we can alter the flow of a week.
In the end, time is its own manager and proceeds at its own pace with no respect for status or, perhaps, equal respect for all. We all have the same amount each day and there is nothing you can do to change that.
Your experience of time is not related to the units of time but what you do in that time, and so time management has come to mean management of tasks within time frames. Perhaps an even more significant consideration in your experience of time would be why you are doing what you do, and how much pleasure you get from it.
Here, you can ask some good questions to help you diagnose your health in this area. By way of illustration, have you noticed that a week on holiday can fly by, while a week on a task can seem like a long journey. Try comparing 20 minutes watching TV with 20 minutes on an exercise machine – which seems longer? ’Time flies when you are enjoying yourself’ is now part of our folk lore and illustrates the point that your experience of time can vary enormously according to other external factors.
I would like to invite you to travel back in time and focus your attention on a character named Jacob: a complex character, full of schemes, dreams and trouble, he was the producer of many stories as well as the father of 12 sons of Israel.
The ‘in between’ time for Jacob that I am inviting you to consider is in the context of work but not exclusively. On the run from his older brother, Jacob arrives at his uncle’s farm and works with him for a month, for nothing. When his uncle offers him wages, Jacob does a deal – as is Jacob’s style. He offers to work for seven years in return for marrying Rachel, his uncle’s daughter with whom he has fallen in love.
Here is the biblical description of Jacob’s ‘in between’ time: “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her”. Here is an experience of seven years of time which seemed like only a few days. Now maybe Jacob loved farm management – he was certainly very good at it, but what really seemed to make the time fly was his vision and motivation. What Jacob had discovered is that working motivated by love, affects your perception of time.
This principle works on all kinds of levels but I want to leave with you a thought about one particular level. When Paul urges us to do everything as to the Lord, he is inviting us to see all our tasks in the context of love. It is not a call to duty but a call to inspiration. Rachel was Jacob’s inspiratrice. Paul is calling us to be inspired by the Lord. Jacob’s vision determined where he worked, who he worked for and what work he did. Your vision can also inspire you to work.
If there is a gap between your vision and your work or if you have lost a sense of vision, then one symptom will be that time just drags. If that is the case, then it will certainly be stressful for you and it may be time for a change.
If seven years seems like a few days, your vision may be inspiring you. If your vision is of the beauty of the Lord, then you are in a good place and it is a good time. Vision changes everything, including ‘in between’ times.
14 Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.” After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.” 16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
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