This is Your Time
from "This is Your Time"
It was a test that we could all hope to pass
But none of us would want to take
Faced with the choice to deny God and live
For her there was one choice to make
This was her time
This was her dance
She lived every moment
Left nothing to chance
She swam in the sea
Drank of the deep
Embraced the mystery of all she could be
This was her time
Though you are mourning and grieving your loss
Death died a long time ago
Swallowed in life so that life carries on
Still it's so hard to let go
What if tomorrow
And what if today
Faced with the question
Oh what would you say
This is your time
This is your dance
Make every moment
Leave nothing to chance
Swim in the sea
Drink of the deep
Call on the mercy
Hear yourself praying
Won't You save me
Won't You save me
by Michael W. Smith
This song is about one of the victims of columbine...perhaps one of the most victorious of them, because in her death, she is remembered for the kind of faith all believers hope to posess.
If I remember what I learned about English Literature rightly, Ben Jonson (1572-1637) is the person responsible for the popularisation of the "Carpe Diem" ideal. The idea is that life is short, the good die young, so live it up while you can. "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die" I think, is the quote he left us with. There are some who feel that this carpe diem, or "seize the day" attitude is rather cavalier, but I don't think it has to be. I think at it's best, it embraces everything the song at the beginning is saying.
Biblically, we are told not to worry. Consider the following passage from Matthew 6:25-34. 25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
I think this tells us that we are to live each day on it's own merit. This does not mean, by any stretch of any imagination, to ignore our long-standing responsibilities...such as holding down jobs, planning for our retirement, our children's needs, our parent's needs...indeed, in 1 Timothy 5:8, we are told that if we do not provide for our families, than we deny the faith and are worse than "unbelievers". So this isn't about doing the things we have to do to provide for our family. And in the society we inhabit, providing for our family is about looking further than today. That's not my problem. I think, though, that we forget to embrace the days we are given. I think that, in the rush of everyday, we tend to go through the motions of living...and fail actually embrace each day.
This is your day. In your rush to work, stop to smell your favorite smell. Maybe that's a flower, maybe it's a fine cup of coffee, maybe it's the baby powder you dust your baby's bottom with. It takes just 30 seconds of your precious time, and if you can't afford those 30 seconds, you might ought to examine what has you so busy that you can't stop and delight in a simple scent. This is your dance. Delight in the people around you. Your spouse, your child, your best friend, your parent. Find one person who challenges you to be a better person. Someone that, when you are with them, you find that not only do you like them, you like who you are when you are with them. Someone who lets you delight in the sheer joy of a moment. And if you can't find a partner to dance with you through life, then stop and pause for a dance by yourself. Remember the joy of feeling like you were almost flying when you got on the swings as a kid? Take 10 minutes and go find a park and swing again. Or maybe it wasn't swings. Maybe it was running, and feeling like you were going faster than the sun. Who cares how you look...run again, for the sheer fun of it. Or whatever it was that you LOVED to do as a child. Dance in life.
Live every moment, and leave nothing to chance. When I was just 16, my father died in a car accident. A week before, I called him. I talked to him. He was there. And then, one afternoon, after school, I came home and found that he was gone. He was dead. I couldn't call him anymore. All the letters he wanted me to write to him could be written, but would go forever unread. He would not see my graduation, would not give me away at my wedding, would not hold his grandchildren. Everything I wanted to say to him would go unheard, unanswered. You are not promised tomorrow. It may never come for you, or for your loved one. You could step off a curb and get hit by a bus. I'm not a fatalist...but I am being realistic. I don't want you to live in fear of death; it comes, in time, to us all. Nor do would I have you fear what comes after. There is an answer for the life that comes after this one, and I promise to go on about that later...but for the moment, try this if you want to know more about the hope that I have. Anyway...since all you can be certain of is this moment, live this moment. Thrill in THIS moment. And you won't do it all the time. Just, when you remember, stop and live a minute. Leave reminders around if you need to. But every chance you get, stop and live the minute. You can live the minute while you make supper, while you travel to work, while you are working, whenever. Just leave nothing to chance and live every moment.
Swim in the sea, drink of the deep, embrace the mystery of all you can be. There's a difference between swimming in a pool and swimming in the ocean. In the pool, the bottom is about 12 feet away...at most. The edge is close, and escape is easily enough found. But swimming in the sea is different. The bottom is further away, the edges are much further out, and there are currents that move you as much as you move yourself. Now, I'm not suggesting that you look for near death experiences; I am far from a thrill seeker. But maybe your life is too safe. Maybe you've gotten yourself into a safe little rut. How bad would it be, for just a moment, to "go off the deep end"? Not sociopathic or psychotic...but just crazy enough to enjoy a few minutes on the swing or a stupid cartoon. And how can you embrace the mystery of all you can be without stopping to explore it? No one knows everything about themselves. We are all seeking to find our own voice, our own style, our own look. Enjoy the search. Don't abandon reason and responsibility...but neither abandon random.
This is your time. This is all you are promised. Stop, take a look around you...and make a difference. Make the world a better place because you are in it. Smile at someone. Open the door for someone. Buy a cup of coffee for someone less fortunate than you. Hug someone. Love everyone, especially when they are unlovable. Yes, I am asking the impossible with the last one...so try meeting the one who made it all possible. Don't put it off. Call on the mercy and then LIVE.
This is your time.