Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Here I am again, in an airport, writing the weekly column. It’s my last trip until Christmas, I am happy (merry?) to say.  Since the plane back to Portland has been delayed, I think I have the time to begin and finish this missive.

Time is weird. Take children, for example (please). From their perspective, ten years are like eternity. From mine? Wow! “How did you grow so fast? years? Seems like yesterday. How time flies”.

No, airplanes fly; time passes. And depending on our experience and point of view, it seems to pass at varying speeds. It doesn't take an Einstein to understand that. So if time is relative, is there such a thing as objective, or true, time?

I am not writing a science column (nor could I). But I will suggest that there is an objectively true time, and that it is called NOW. The eternal now, if I may. There is no past. There is no present. There is only now. The past is a memory; the future is a dream. Now is the only real time. Have you ever been present in any time that was not now?

If we are to live authentic lives, we have to live them in reality, rather than in memories or dreams. We need to live in true reality rather than in time that is temporary. We need to live in eternity, which is also called God's time.

What might that be like? Let's use our imaginations. If there is no past, why would I not forgive? To resent or hold on to injustices against me would be to define my eternity, my eternal now, as one of hard-heartedness and even revenge. Letting go would make room for other actions, even virtue.

But, we might protest, not acknowledging the memory of past hurts would only lay us open to being hurt again by the same person in the same way! How many times are we to forgive? As many as seven? Oh.

If there is no future, why would we save for it? The better question might be why would we hold on to more than we could ever make use of in a whole lifetime of nows. Is that not greed?

They just announced that the plane is going to be an additional hour late. If I am focused on the future, I will be very agitated. Maybe even angry and upset. I live in the now, there's no problem. It is now now and it will be now when I arrive in Portland, so what difference does it make if I am what we call late? I'll still be there now!

These are my random thoughts from the airport. I hope they might help you reflect on living now. but maybe you're thinking it's a good thing I don't fly again until Christmas. Oh. I forgot. I have a trip in November. I bet you can't wait! Well, you don't have to, because then is now. My head hurts.

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