"Did having cancer alter your perspective on time?" My friend waited while I thought about her question. "I'm sure it has," I finally responded, "but I'm not quite sure how." As I thought about it, I was surprised to realize that I no longer look at time as rushing by. I no longer get a panicky feeling when I think of all the things I want to accomplish in my day, my week, my life. I am much more inclined to take the time to stop and consciously make myself aware of what's happening around me.
That surprised me. I would have thought I'd feel more pressure, knowing that life is short and can end at any time. (waking up on a respirator in ICU makes you keenly aware of that fact). But, since having cancer, I'm not so focused on the urgency to do as the desire to be. I stepped out onto a windy winter street this morning and delighted in the falling snow and stood for a moment to watch the swirl of brown leaves kissing the gleaming windows of tall buildings. The urgency to get my Christmas shopping done fell away and time seemed to settle as softly as the falling snow.
It's easy to get caught up in the "tyranny of the urgent," especially as we creep closer to the age when death is peeping around the corner. It's easy to get that panicky feeling in our stomachs as we approach the end of the year and know it's time to make plans for another. But it's also easy, I've discovered, to "be still and know" that He is God and that with His hand in ours fear and even the pounding pulse of time, melts away.
My husband is known for quoting John Piper who said that at the root of all sin is unbelief. I realized as I stood on that street the other day that my panicky feelings were just that, lack of faith in God. Knowing that I was seconds away from meeting Him face to face has restored that faith, given me peace, and yes, changed my perspective on time.
Time is no longer a task-master but simply the measure of the journey we are all taking, one that will lead to that face to face meeting with our Heavenly Father. I know I won't escape it and neither will you. I look forward to it, knowing it is not an end but a new beginning.
I will still sit down in early 2013 to make my list of writing goals and challenges for the New Year, but this time it will be with a smile on my face, not a frown, knowing that time may stop at any moment and that new beginning will be a shining reality.
Marcia's books are available on her website and online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc.