What time is it? How many times in a day do you find your self gazing at the clock? Do you frequently pause to look at your wristwatch? There is something about time that is so fascinating and even alluring.
Saint Augustine once spoke about time. He said, “Time is a three-fold present: the present as we experience it, the past as a present memory, and the future as a present expectation.”
As we near the end of February, it is not so much the hour of time that is attracting our attention but the seasonal element of time. Is it spring yet? These last few days are really a tease of sorts. The warmer temperatures coupled with the chirping of birds suggest that it is spring. Let us not be fooled, for there is much more of winter to come in the way of snow, cold temperatures and dreary days.
Winter in southwestern Pennsylvania is one of the hardest times of the year. The elements which frequently keep us indoors inevitably lead to a deep sense of introspection. We can’t help but to look at ourselves and what is going on in our lives. Sometimes this look can be disheartening because there’s something about us that is drawn more to the negative than the positive. What is more, the problems, issues and concerns that trouble us always seem to be exacerbated at this time. Perhaps the lack of sunlight has something to do with it. The good news is that we are all in this together.
So, what time is it? For the Christian, it is always time to hope in the future and joyfully expect the time that will come. As we stand on the threshold of spring and anticipate the holy season of Lent, it is a time for us to hope. The prophet Jeremiah speaks of this hope as a gift from God. He says, “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe, plans to give you a future full of hope.” God wants us to be people of hope. Just imagine if every time we looked at our clocks or asked about the time we would demonstrate hope. Don’t you think the world would be a more hopeful place? You know, it really can become that. So the next time you want to know what time it is, remember to be hopeful.