Many of us have been looking for new calendars so we can mark reminders of appointments and special events, and make plans for the coming year. Most of us follow a calendar year common to business and government and overlook spiritual calendars.
In the next week, many Christians will begin a new church year with the observation of the Advent season. This week, Jewish congregations began participating in the observation of Hanukkah. Most Americans observed the national holiday of Thanksgiving. The business calendar includes Black Friday as the start of preparation for Christmas. I have a friend who doesn’t begin Christmas shopping until Dec. 26, as he is a member of the Russian Orthodox Church and their calendar observes Christmas about two weeks later than the Western calendar. He says this is OK with him as the stores are less crowded and it saves him time and money as he shops the after-Christmas sales.
We live in a world that values time highly and has created a multitude of ways to record time in past, present and future formats. Some of us may remember the film series known as the “March of Time” that was shown in American movie houses during World War II.
These short films expanded upon current events, their effects upon the world and suggested possible impacts upon the future. Each film ended with the dramatic statement, “Time Marches On!” That statement created questions for me concerning the importance of time.
Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that the concept of time — past, present and future, are all linked together. What happened in the past and what happens in the present is directly involved in creation of the future.
I believe in the statement that God created mankind and “blessed it with memory, reason, and skill,” and I recommend the study and application of these blessings in our daily life.
Time and memory are directly related. Time provides the page numbers for our memory or story. Depending upon our age, our memories include stories from childhood, courtship and marriage, births, deaths of loved ones, first jobs, illness, and retirement; all are page numbers in our story or personal calendar.
Time and the future are also directly related, dependent upon how we use the blessing of memory, reason and skill.
Montie Slusher is the Deacon of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Fairbanks. Insight is sponsored by the Tanana Valley Christian Conference.