Constrained by Time

One of my favorite stories comes from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Now I’ve seen multiple reenactments of this story(Scrooged) and a spin-off(looking at you, Matthew McConaughey in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past). My favorite of them all is the one done by the Flintstones. This has a lot to do with nostalgia.

What I like about the story focuses on time. There are the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. It’s a beautiful picture of the depths of the human soul and psyche. Being human, we’re bound and constrained to time. Trying to comprehend outside of time will leave you mentally fatigued, I can tell you from experience. As you look across disciplines of study, you can’t get away from the essence of time.

I come from a math and science background, so I like formulas:

Reflection(past) + Projection(future) = Injection(present)

A.J. Ouzts II

Reflection – looking back

Reflection at its core is past-tense. To look back not just over your life, but to those who came before you and to history is to reflect. I don’t believe you can become wise without reflection. There’s a reason why the cliche ‘History repeats itself is used’ because we as humans fail to adequately reflect. From my perspective, which is filtered through my faith, I don’t see people as inherently good, especially myself.

For instance, most of us will agree that Hitler was an evil dude, right. However, if you think given the power and authority, with no checks and balances, you would do better, I’d say you don’t know humanity well enough, nor yourself. We are fully capable of performing acts of good and evil.

Projection – looking forward

I spend quite a bit of time looking to the future. Staying aware of the vision (big picture) is what incites hope within people. One of my favorite proverbs bears this out:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.

Proverbs 13:12

The truth in this statement is showing its way in the culture, from my perspective. Hope is a word grounded with future implications. Reflecting on my life and observing others, I see that we began to live aimlessly and not fulfilling lives when we lose sight of the vision or goal. We focus on the pursuit of happiness and not the pursuit of purpose.

Those of us who’d played sports, you’ll probably agree with me there was fun and happy times in the pursuit of a purpose, but not all those times were fun… namely practice and losses.

Injection – starting now

Injection is simply taking the wisdom from reflection, coupled with the future vision, to focus on what to do now. It’s the details of living in the moment, without losing sight of the past or future. This is the one I struggle with the most because I like to reflect.

One of my favorite accounts in the Old Testament is the book of Esther. It’s an excellent account demonstrating:

  1. The Providence of God – God working behind the scenes
  2. Great Counsel – Mordecai counseling Esther
  3. The Power of Influence – Esther being queen

The most known verse from this book, though, exemplifies the notion of injection:

13 Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. 14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

Esther 4:13-14

I’m careful to use this verse because some will take it out of context. My encouragement is to read the account in full context because Esther handles the situation with great wisdom.

The main point I want to get out of it here is we have gifts and talents, the sphere of influence, and the purpose of achieving through what we know and have experienced. You must know who you are and where you want to go, so you know what to do.

Making a decision

This blog is part of my injection portion as a I look toward the vision I have for the stories coming up. If this helped you, praise God, and leave a comment, if you feel led too.

2 thoughts on “Constrained by Time

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