Friday, January 14, 2011

Just A Matter of Time

"Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” -- Henry Van Dyke

Anyone born before microwaves has probably heard the idiom "A Watched Pot Never Boils". The idea being that impatience only seems to make time move more slowly. Apparently androids are fascinated with this idea. In an episode of Star Trek Next Generation called "Timescape", Data sets out to perform an experiment to determine if, indeed, a "watched pot never boils". He boils a kettle of water, first watching it the entire time, and then not watching it at all. When Commander Riker enters the room during the action, Data explains that his internal chronometer doesn't allow him to detect any differences. Riker advises him that since humans don't have internal chronometers, Data should turn his off. Data says he'll try it and Riker jokingly warns him not to be late for his shift. Riker leaves and Data looks at the kettle with a puzzled expression. The water is now boiling.

As a child, the twelve months between my birthdays seemed to drag, causing much angst. Now the same time passes so quickly it's scary. I still feel like a kid. If it weren't for the fact that I have an adult son with two children, I might be able to pull off this forever young charade. Well, at least to myself.

There are few moments when the movement of time, or the seeming lack thereof, is more acute than during the sleeping hours. For example, after a recent restless night, Dennis commented to me. "Why is it that at 2:30 in the morning 15 minutes seems like 2 hours, but at 6:30 in the morning 2 hours seem like 15 minutes?" (If you're shaking your head and asking, "Huh?", read that again -- slowly. You'll get it.)

I'm fascinated with the fact that God set our earth in motion with the advent of the 24-hour day, yet He is completely free of any time constraints whatsoever. Not years, not months, not weeks, not days, not hours, not minutes, not even seconds. "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." 2 Peter 3:8. (Wow, try getting your hands around that one.)

Some day I'll experience the wonder of eternity, when time will have no meaning. But for now, I've got a pot to watch. On second thought, I think I'll use the microwave.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."
Ecclesiastes 3:11

1 comment:

  1. That is so cute! I always thought Data's reaction to our human foibles was the funniest part of the program: trying to make logical sense of our lack of logic. Fun post, Nancy.


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