Jan 30 2012


by andrew

Time is a funny thing. Take for instance the time that I am spending to write this when perhaps I should be sleeping. From a certain vantage point this time could be better spent. And from another, this is the best way to spend it.

For some reason this day culminated in a peculiar sequence of events and observations that might have otherwise gone unnoticed if it hadn’t been for the curious case of Benjamin Button. Do you ever notice that? How some days more than others just seem to be trying to communicate a particular message all their own. Maybe every day should be like that and it is only certain days that we’re actually listening carefully enough to catch it. And then again maybe some days just shout their message more loudly than others.

So much time has passed since last I wrote. That must be some sort of psychological hurdle that ironically prevents me from writing more frequently until finally some sort of unavoidable inspiration overcomes the inertia of all the things that have passed unrecorded and I have no choice but to but to let it all come flowing out in a colorful outburst laden with weightier harmonies than any routine life-stenography could carry.

Today was dripping violently with Time saturation as though the last few months have been soaking in it and someone finally decided to raise it high with discovery’s expectation for how much It held and how long it would take to drip out.

I have been driving myself hard the last few months particularly with work. It’s easy to do as I love what I’m good at and there’s no shortage of things to demand my particular zeal for stubborn problem solving. But in the middle of that seemingly inescapable and delightful storm also comes the burden of feeling like my other priorities – some of them like family, which are far more important – are just getting the left-overs of me at best. And while I know that the blessings of my work at home situation afford me much greater flexibility and more time with my wife and kids than most, it still doesn’t feel like enough – it feels like I should have more for them and less for work. What do we allow to devour our time?

We were clearly past due for a vacation and what better way to spend it than a weekend-long prophecy seminar about the End Times, some time catching up with family and friends, and a solid day of shopping in Winnipeg? Yes, when we returned home after almost a week I knew that we had a great vacation because we needed another. Time.

But the healthiest part was going (nearly) cold turkey on work for a bit. Of course this means that I’m having to drag myself past some reluctance to build up steam again, but I think that this is a good thing too and will hopefully help me strike a fresh and more stable balance as things settle out once more.

And then there are video games. Ah how quickly dormant passions resurface when the right conditions conspire to release them: the placebo of an outlet that involves problem solving of a very different sort than the routine, a new facilitator (iPad ironically purchased solely for work at the first), and the excuse of vacation time. If you don’t understand how I can connect the concepts of Passion and Gaming, then you have somewhat to learn about the authentically male heart. In perfect Eldredge-ian philosophy (most of which I believe is very very truthful) I can recognize that hours and hours poured into colonizing planets, designing and commanding fleets of ships, and taking over the universe one star system at a time Is really nothing more than my male heart seeking a visceral kingdom building experience. And yet that is Time that completely evaporates, and there is a real Kingdom to build, and the mind knows this even as the spirit knows that Kingdom is far more real and adventurous than even the most cleverly crafted game. Ah but we we like our instant gratification don’t we? There’s nothing quite like starting with only one planet and no technology and in the span of a few near-all-nighters defeating 4 other alien species for domination of the universe.

There is nothing like the innocent disappointment of a child who missed out on some enjoyment of an incredible moment in life because it didn’t match their expectations of how it was going to or should unfold to drive home the lesson that every moment in Time is precious and if we are constantly requiring them to fit our preconceptions of how they ought to play out then we will be constantly let down. Today reminded me that Time is not something we can place demands upon, but that we will also have a far superior experience within its confines if we decide to make the most of it and savor. This was essentially the encouragement and warning I gave Reayah. It was also the wisdom shared by Renee’s grandmother at the girl’s Tea Party that Renee and the girls hosted here while the boys and I holed up upstairs and did guy things.

Then today my laptop power supply fried out. It was the oddest thing. The failure caused a fluctuation in the power of other things plugged into the same power supply, accompanied by a faint pop and the smell of toasted electronics though it took me a minute or two to figure out what had happened. (Almost) nothing lasts forever and Time claims many things. In the instance that I figured out what had happened, the implications threatened to choke me. Thankfully the power supply for my old laptop turned out to have the same exact watts, amps, and plug size, and I can use that until the new one arrives.

As if attempting to tie all those threads into a final tapestry from the day, Renee decided she was going to watch a movie tonight and it was going to be The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. For all it’s shortcomings it’s still an excellent thought-provoker and I found one thing in particular resonating quite deeply: “when it comes to the end [of a particular plan, of a day, of a season, of a life], you have to let it go.”

How true. Seems like there was more I had intended to write, but coming to the end of this post I am discovering that my brain is using Time less and less efficiently the longer I keep at this and I too have to let it go.