Friday, April 13, 2007

The Clock

The clock ostensibly turns at exactly the same speed all the time. But I'm not sure that I believe it.

In high school (and even now) time seems to stand still every afternoon in that insulin shocked, lugubriated twilight between lunch and leaving to do what you want to do. But this morning, at the masters swim, that same second hand swept like lightening through our rest intervals. 12x100 meters with a two blink rest interval and until the cows come home.

Even in triathlon, a race against the clock, time speeds up or slows down, sometimes both at the same time. Hit a rough patch on the run, and you lose time with the minutes screaming by while time simultaneously grinds to a halt as the run goes on forever.

I guess I'm reminded of time because the events are starting come at me fast and furious. The calendar says I am just over a week out from the MS150. Bolder's clock says I am only 21 days from Wildflower. (I don't think this is possible, but I'll go with it.) The clock in my sidebar says I am 148 days away from Ironman Wisconsin, my first.

My sleepy brain thought about time this morning as I was standing around with a bunch of teenagers in their pajamas. Seriously. We were all waiting for the aquatic center to open, me for masters swim, they for swim team practice: a couple dozen teenage kids in their pajamas or boxers or gym shorts, come straight from bed, fuzzy slippers and flip-flops, the boys with their ratty hair all akimbo with bed head, the girls all flyaway ponytails.

Now, there's a certain sense in which I would NEVER go back to high school, even if I could. But as I stood there watching all these kids doing their bored sleepwalk to yet another practice, I was jealous. They are totally unware of the gift of their own youth--bodies that are all lean muscle, taut, smoothe skin, powerful and flexible limbs, potential overflowing, trained to glide with speed through the water, unmarked by age or injury. Yet, I am sure not one of them was aware of the blessing while they were living it. They were just going to another practice.

I felt like grabbing one of the kids by the shoulders and telling them to fill this time and drink deeply of this rich and wonderful cup that they have. But of course I didn't. They would have thought me nuts, and might have been right.

So, reader, I'll grab you by the shoulders, whether you think I'm nuts or not. You can use time, but you can't grip it. The more you try to squeeze and hold it, the more slips through your fingers. You can fill time with something, but time filled with nothing still passes--it passes emptily. Most of all, you can't kill time without injuring eternity.

The number of times your minute hand will go 'round has already been decided. For good or ill , your clock is wound. So, fill your time with good things, and gulp it down.

Taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:7)


21stCenturyMom said...

Whoa! That was really profound and so completely right on. Nice.

TxSkatemom said...

Wow. great thoughts to mull over, and very fitting with the music video (which is one of my favorites!). Thanks.

Amy said...

Great post. I wish someone had told me that when I was younger.