Time is part of our mortality: 3 ways to make the minutes slow down

Written by Kate Stevens
Published on June 04, 2021

Maybe it’s because this is my final year of teaching, so my last class is graduating soon. Maybe it’s because my oldest just turned ten.

Regardless, I’m nostalgic and just plain weepy lately. 

I first began teaching at the age of 22—I had a student who was 18. I still have no idea how or if I was successful at all. I do know that I was pretentious with oodles of energy. Fourteen years later, the energy has waned, and students have brought about much humility. 

And my oldest—well, we were pigeonholed for a childless life by two different doctors. Every birthday is a reminder that God owns science. 

When I think of these events, they seem like yesterday. 

But really, any time we reminisce that phrase “seems like yesterday” comes up—it is something we think and say often.  

So how do we master time?  How do we make our years last longer than one day?  

From where I stand, we can only order our attitudes regarding time.  This is no easy task as it takes genuine discipline and work.

Three mindsets about time

1. Be present

First we are to be present in every situation—this means we pay attention all the time: to people, noises, music, nature, lectures, words, your words, others’ words, sufferings, and even silence. In I Kings 19:12, God communicated to Elijah through a whisper—we have to be attentive if we are to heed something like that.

It is when we allow our minds to wander that we become unaccounted for in a moment. It’s like when we drive or ride in a car for several minutes and not realize we are already home.  Or when we read six pages of text and have absolutely no recognition of what was just read. 

We can sing words to a song—even one to the Lord—and have no conscious connection to what we are singing.  We can hear a sermon that is screaming the Gospel, yet we sit lifeless because of our lack of attention to that instant.  

This is especially challenging when it comes to the mundane routine of family life. My girls want to live for the next exciting thing, and it is very tempting. However, that would mean bypassing a lot of life. 

2. Find contentment

Jeremiah Burroughs, a 16th century Puritan, wrote: “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposition in every condition.” This includes the time of the day, the day of the week, and the season of the year.

Friends, you will experience an abrupt decision that seems impossible to make.  You will come face to face with direct opposition to one, if not all, of your beliefs.  You will experience affliction, confusion, indecisiveness, sickness, death, loneliness, and tears from a plethora of sources.  

Even something as simple as my girls fussing over it being Monday and not Saturday because they don’t want to go to school—if they had that kind of power, they would be skipping five whole days of their lives just because they don’t want to deal with the day of the week! 

But we have to remember the Lord is sovereign and serves up what we need in order to fulfill his will. 

We cannot check out of a situation for the fact of boredom, awkwardness, fear, laziness, or anxiety.  God’s sovereignty allows us to practice virtues so that we will be prepared to fight the enemy, withstand ridicule, speak grace to ready hearers, and engage every other opportunity that crosses us or forces itself into our lives.

3. Have an eternal outlook

I enjoy books, yoga, writing, and cooking—but in isolation, they are limited.

Teaching my daughters how to be homemakers is important, but it can’t come at the expense of connecting it to eternity. We are to work at everything we do to honor the Lord, and the way we spend and view time is no exception. 

We have the responsibility to point our children away from living in the isolation of seeking distractions from our work or boredom—it’s a false reality. 

As parents we can use every interruption, every occurrence in nature, every awkward moment of waiting to connect to something eternal: God’s goodness and his infinite nature.

Treasuring things in my heart

We are bound by time, so we should adopt the appropriate attitudes towards it.

Right after Jesus was born Mary “treasured all these things in her heart.” I find myself trying to capture moments the way she did—remember this, Kate! Remember their joy. Remember this simplicity. Remember this perfect day. Remember how the Lord saved you today.

It’s also frightening to think that time can never be regained—once that moment is spent, then it’s spent and gone. And even to think on seemingly mundane days where one thing happens in one instant, and life is forever changed. 

Time is such a powerful part of our mortality. May we be present in every part of it. 

Live perfectly imperfect

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Kate Stevens

Kate Stevens is a worshiper, wife, and mom. By vocation, she teaches high school students English, Bible, and debate, and has been doing so for fourteen years.  In addition, she serves as a freelance editor.  You can read more from her as she develops her newly published blog: “HEM-ology: Somewhere between zoology and theology.”

Read more about Kate

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