My wife and I have experienced a variation on this perception of time after returning from a vacation where we have once again experienced what I like to call the “Rubber Band View of Time.” In a normal month, the weeks have a certain rhythm and it seems like the time flies by at a predictably fast pace. There are, of course, exceptions to this. Ask a child in school now how quickly the days are going by as spring and the end of school grows nearer and they will likely tell you that time seems to be dragging. Or if you have ever suffered a health issue where you have been in constant pain, you know that time seems to slow down.
The striking thing is when we return to our normal routine, the fast movement of time picks right up again. In fact, it seems in some cases that it’s like we were never gone and that the vacation was just a little blip on the radar screen that is now past. I’ve come to picture this by using a rubber band. If you were to place a 2-inch long rubber band between two pegs and move a pen along that rubber band, the line would go approximately two inches. However, if you take hold of that rubber band and pull it away from the pegs, stretching it, the distance of that line would be much greater, perhaps 8 inches or so longer. That is how vacations feel to me. A vacation is an opportunity to fill a week with things that stretches that rubber band out. However, at the end, it seems to snap back into place and we move on at the same pace as before.
The passing of time and our perception of time has always struck me and often caused me to ponder the passing of time in my life. There are so many mysteries in this whole topic, but when it seems a bit much, I think of Psalm 31 where the author David is having to deal with enemies and struggles. He states his trust in God in many ways but what he says in verses 14-15 gives me an even greater perspective on time:14 But I trust in you, Lord; 14 But I trust in you, Lord;
- 14 But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
We need not fear or be perplexed as well. When time flies by or when it seems to crawl by, just remember that God has those times and the events of those times firmly in his hands.