Maybe you are like me and don’t think much about the time each day. What I mean by that is we don’t usually contemplate time. We have some timepieces, a watch, our phone, or a clock on the upper right-hand corner of our computer screen, but we take those instruments or measurements of time for granted. For most of us, time just happens.
We likely have more awareness of time than in any other historical period. The exactness of time has changed over the decades I have been alive. I remember my grandfather using terms like, “It’s half past the hour” or “A quarter before seven.” Today we are more exact, even to the second. Most of our timepieces are connected—for each of us, it becomes one-minute past the hour at exactly the same time.
Time is something I think about often when I travel to Cambodia. I think about it because it affects how I communicate with my wife while I am there or when I’m home; I ask myself if it’s too late or too early to call a friend in Cambodia. Time becomes an issue. Cambodia’s time is fifteen hours ahead of Fresno’s time. For example, as I write this little philosophical article, it is 6:00 AM on Saturday in Fresno. I have just poured a cup of coffee, and the Sun hasn’t ascended above the horizon. My Saturday is only beginning. In Cambodia, Saturday is nearly over. It’s 9:00 PM, and it will be Sunday in just three more hours. It won’t be Sunday in Fresno for another eighteen hours.
What about time travel? Is it possible? In a sense, it is. When I fly to Cambodia next Thursday, I will depart at 11:03 PM. When I arrive in Phnom Penh, it will be two days in the future; 11:25 AM on Saturday, around 36 hours later. But here’s the thing; the entire flight is only 18 hours. Where did the rest of the time go? I flew in to time.
On the return flight about sixteen days later, I depart Cambodia on Monday at 12:45 PM, arriving in Los Angeles the same day just three hours and five minutes later, at 3:50 PM. This time I flew out of time. Weird.
This time differential creates the jet lag problem. Eighteen hours on a flight seems unbearable. Navigating through airports and sitting on the plane, those hours tick by slowly. Still, that passage of time pales compared to the travel of one of my favorite missionaries, Hudson Taylor (If you have never read the book Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, I recommend you do). On his journey to China in the 1800s, he didn’t have any concept of jet lag. The passage of time took on a new dimension. In some way, time was irrelevant. His voyage took four months on a sailing ship. On his initial journey, hours, minutes and seconds were never considered. They didn’t matter. Time was measured in days and weeks, as in his first missionary journey, where the ship’s company endured fifteen days of storms and tempests.
The Bible speaks of seasons and time;
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time †to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
Time is all around us, but we should probably not be consumed with time, but on the other hand we shouldn’t take it for granted either. While in Cambodia, I’ll try to make the most of my time. Thank you for coming along with me on the journey through time.
Time is so elusive. Almost daily I wonder where the time went. It can become overwhelming when the ToDo list remains largely undone. Aging seems to bring different perspectives when you remember that you used to have the energy to accomplish what you felt absolutely had to be done. Now, some of those “urgent” tasks seem less important and knowing that our time is in His hands is such a blessed comfort and hope. Spending time with the Lord is the best time each day.
Pastor Roger, I look forward to reading your notes on the upcoming trip to Cambodia, and I pray that you will be blessed daily as you pour out His blessings on all you encounter. God bless you!
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You are so correct about time and its impact, and effect on one who is traveling. It’s a strange idea to comprehend. I pray your time spent on the plane and in route provides opportunities for you to share God’s Good news. And I’m excited to see what God has in store through all the adventure you will encounter. I pray for safety for you and for Carol. I pray the lives. You will touch there will be open to the message God puts on your heart. Blessings to you.
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Thank you, Jill. I apreciate all you have done to support this work financially and in prayer.