One of the movie genres I enjoy are films about time travel. The idea of being able to escape the bounds of time has always fascinated me. Ah to be done with attempts at merely managing time. Give me a time machine and I will be the master of time by rewinding it or fast forwarding it at will! No doubt you too have dreamt of being free from the constraints and pressures of time and being able to alter or redeem time.
Time as we all know marches on relentlessly and waits for no man. Someone bemoaning the facts that time flies and it is just a matter of time before time runs out, penned a timely observation. “Time is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end the faster it goes.”
The irony of most time travel movies is that the plight of the time traveler is no different than those of us without a time machine. In classic time travel cinema like Back to the Future and its sequels, the time traveler, Marty McFly, finds himself repeatedly caught in a predicament with time running out. You know the drill: as he races against time, it’s just a matter of time before he’ll be out of time, unless he is saved in the nick of time. Where is the time machine when a guy really needs it?
Time is an enigma. It is both a friend and a foe; a blessing and a curse. Time is our most precious possession and yet we seldom treat it that way. What we do with it will determine our destiny and yet we seldom think about it that way. We can redeem time or waste time, buy time or spend time, keep time or do time, bide time or two time, save time or kill time, stretch time or squeeze time, make time or mark time, borrow time or take time.
The passage of time affects everyone differently. Time is slower for the class than for the teacher, and slower for the congregation than the preacher. Time goes faster for those on vacation than for those at work, but slower for the customer than the clerk. It’s also faster for those taking a test than the proctor, but slower for the patient than the doctor.
There is a big difference between telling time and knowing the time. When we tell time, we are simply reciting the position of the hands on the clock. That is chronological or from the Greek, chronos time. But when we know the time, we are recognizing the significance of the time to which the hands point. That is kairos (Gk) time. Kairos time might best be described as a purposeful time in our lives, filtered through God’s loving hands, in which He promises to empower us.