Forceful, uncontrollable, the greatest natural force to influence the world, and yet in the same instance a force that is never unpredictable. Controlling the day, controlling the night, it creates and wraps around every moment existing inwards and outwards as that moment. This force is the element we call time. I believe in that uncontrollable and reliable element. I believe in time.
I have found that time is more than the numbers and the names assigned by clocks, assigned by calendars to monitor time’s movement throughout the days and weeks. Set markers placed throughout the past, and even when planning for the future. But this isn’t the kind of time I am trying to describe. I’m talking about the core and raw essence that has been a haunting force since the beginning of our little planet.
Einstein may have talked about gravity and the relativity of time and space, but I want to talk about the simple way that time affects me. Every moment becomes the next, which in some occasions can be a very treasured event. Nothing is ever fixed in place. Every second turns into minutes, to hours, to days, to years. It’s not the fact that time is causing my life to slip forward beyond my control; on the contrary time is what keeps me a float in the torrent of thoughts and events that collide into my life. Without the passing of time I would probably drown, as there are some incidents I know I couldn’t have survived for very long if I was to endure them forever. Awkward or embarrassing situations come to mind, and I am grateful that they have been marked as past events. I feel safe knowing that the times I have humiliated myself in front of a cute boy – causing myself to blush furiously – are moments that I will only have to endure in memory. Time moves forward, and thankfully I’m taken with it.
I have time. I’m not talking about having to experience every moment to the fullest. No. This is about having every moment to experience knowing if you mess up there is going to be another moment right after. You’re memories might not be forgiving, but time is. Time moves on giving you another chance.
Time might not be a living breathing being, but I have found that time harbors similar attributes found in my best friends and loved ones. Time is reliable, never abandons me, pushes me forward giving me chances to improve, time never changes its mind about any decisions it makes, and I know that I will grow old with time. Yes, I will grow old with time. Isn’t it common to imagine growing old with those close to you? With time I will experience life.
We measure time, but that doesn’t mean we control it. There it is. Slipping, sliding, twirling and whirling all around me carrying me through everything. It builds the past, creates the future, and gives us the present to experience. My belief is everlastingly in time.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.