When Alice walks through a mirror and finds herself back in Wonderland she discovers that her friend the Mad Hatter is in a bad way. He needs to save his family, or rather, he needs Alice to do that. He needs her to go back in time and save them from an attack by the Jaberwocky. This means Alice must travel through the years using a vehicle called the Chronosphere. However, Time, a character in his own right, is not happy about this, and when Alice embarks on the adventure he comes chasing after her. The usual madcap havoc ensues. In this scene Time and The Hatter meet at The Mad Hatter’s tea party. Get ready for some bad puns…
For a while here Time is seen as the enemy, someone to be battled. But as the story goes on it becomes apparent that Time is something else.
I find appreciating the present moment to be one of life’s biggest challenges. I am duped into thinking that the grass will be greener soon, or I worry about what’s coming up. We all do it of course. But perhaps miss so much by not being more aware of the present moment. We talk of killing time, battling with time, trying to find a bit more time, chasing time. Never having enough. We dream of the day when we’ll have lots of it and can therefore be free to do what we want with it. But perhaps the best solution will be to have no time at all.
I can’t help thinking that one of the great things about heaven is that there will be no time. Which in turn will mean no looking back or looking forward. As we will only be aware of the present moment. The now. With the God who is, after all, I Am. Totally present. With us. There’ll be no regrets, no wishing to move on to a better moment, no missing out on what is happening right now. I recently wrote a story about the serpent giving Eve a clock in the perfect garden of Eden.
‘Tomorrow’s a mystery, yesterday is history, today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.’ Easier to say this quote than put it into practice of course. The future and the past both cast their shadows over us at times. The EU referendum (sorry to bring that up yet again) is being fought on the battlefront of ‘what might happen’ so we’re being forced to vote based on our fears for the future. This world can sometimes push us around like that.
Jesus understands our difficulties. When he told folks not to worry about the future (in Matthew 6 v 25-34) he recognised that they would find this impossible, so he encouraged them to at least focus on today, to hem in their fears, ‘tomorrow will have enough worries of its own’ he said. One day there will be no time, no looking back with regret, or hankering for the future. There will just be the now. Till then we watch our clocks, do our best to hang onto the words of Jesus, and muddle on.