On Shadows and Sand // musings about Time

Time is a very mysterious entity. I never tire of trying to figure it out, and today, the last day of the year, I’ve spent more time than usual thinking about Time.

Once upon a time, Time dragged by very slowly. I restlessly counted down the days to Christmas and despaired that it would never come. I brought all kinds of amusements for a three hour car trip and exhausted them all after thirty minutes. Attending Mass every Sunday for an hour felt like a literal lifetime.

But now? Now is different. Now, time races by faster than light, ruthlessly going on and on whether I like it or not. Christmas slapped me in the face before I was ready, before I was seeped in Christmas spirit. Three hours in the car can go by in a flash while I follow just one train of thought. Mass feels like it’s not long enough.

As I perch on this particular point in Time, the last day of the year, with fireworks exploding outside my window, I look back on the past twelve months and think…where did that Time go? I distinctly remember New Years Day of 2021, and just a blink later, here I am on New Years Eve 2021. The long weeks in between are filled with memories and activities I can recall in a heartbeat, yet they all took a whole year to come into existence.

What I’m trying to say is: Time is very strange.

Sundials: Where Time Began - Farmers' Almanac

In general, my days fly by in blurs, but particulars seem to deny basic physics. Racing a 50 yard freestyle takes less than 30 seconds, yet it feels much longer. Eating in ten minutes passes by in a flash while waiting ten minutes for a meal feels like forever. An hour in a Chemistry lecture goes by much slower than an hour watching a movie. Two hours of swimming feels like it’ll never end, but two hours in an airplane (especially in a trans-Pacific flight) is nothing.

Why is Time so strange, though? Why does it fascinate humans so much? I think it’s because it’s temporary. We humans were created with physical bodies, which must function in the realm of Time. But we were also created with souls, which are destined to live forever, outside of Time, in the timeless realm where God is.

C.S. Lewis puts it stupendously.

Humans are amphibians – half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.

Naturally this means that God is outside of Time, but what exactly does that mean? How can we as mortals understand such a thing, when our lives revolve so closely around Time?

I give you another C.S. Lewis quote:

If you picture Time as a straight line along which we have to travel, then you must think of God as the whole page on which the line is drawn.

(You know, I was going somewhere with this train of thought but that quote is so profound it left me utterly flabbergasted. I’m also feeling wholly underqualified to be talking right now. *coughs* Moving on…)

Soviet Mechanical Alarm Clock / Vintage Slava Clock / USSR | Etsy

Of course, our sense of fluctuating Time isn’t true. Every minute has exactly sixty seconds that pass in exactly the same amount of time, every time, all the time. Every hour has sixty minutes, every day has twenty-four hours, and so on. We’ve even come up with dozens of way to measure this steady passing of Time: grains of sand in an hourglass, shadows in a sundial, ticking arrows on a clock.

It’s only our perception that changes. Time itself is constant and never-changing.

You know, despite how God is outside of Time, the two have many similar attributes. Sometimes He feels close and we’re on fire to carry out His commands. Sometimes He feels very far away, if we even feel him at all. Many times, we feel like He’s completely abandoned us.

But this is just our perception. Like Time, God is constant and never-changing. He’s always right there along with us.

So, whether you feel like you’re dragging Time along or if you feel like Time is dragging you, remember that God is above it all. When you feel like you’re all alone and like God has abandoned you, remember that He is right there with you. When you’re wrestling with metaphysical philosophical confusion, consult C.S. Lewis, and you’ll either be enlightened or possibly even more confused.


I might be going slightly insane by this point.

This is what happens when you spend too much Time thinking about Time.

Also, how many times have I written the word “Time” in this post?


Oh my.

That’s a lot.

Before I end up writing it even more, I shall end for today wishing you all a very Merry Christmas (before you tell me Christmas is over, hush. You’re wrong. It’s the seventh day of Christmas and we have five more to go) and a Happy New Year!

Until next time,

Bon Voyage!

P.S. All pictures pilfered from the Internet

P.P.S. In case you’re wondering, I capitalized most of the Ts for dRaMa and eMphAsIS

P.P.P.S Oh, I almost forgot. sEe yOu NeXt yEaR 😉

5 thoughts on “On Shadows and Sand // musings about Time

  1. This is very thought provoking, Elisha. I too dwell a great deal on what Time is . You seem to master it. The thought that God is never changing like time is to us in our finite life here on earth makes sense of our Now. Soon I believe we too will live in the timelessness of God. That is my prayer and why we can pray even for what has past. For with God there is no Time, everything is Now.. Love you special Lady,mimi 💐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mimi! ❤ That's a very profound observation – since Time isn't a straight line for God, we can pray for people that have gone before us and He can still influence them. Wow. I'll be pondering that.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s