Mitch Albom’s, “The Time Keeper.” is a story about an old man who is desperately trying to live forever and a young teenage girl who wants to end her life prematurely. Their stories intertwine and in the end both of them learn a new appreciation for the meaning and significance of time.
“We do not realize the sound the world makes — unless, of course, it comes to a stop. Then, when it starts, it sounds like an orchestra.” (From The Time Keeper)
We do not realize the sound the world makes… We are busy! We have smart phones, emails, text messages, Facebook and Twitter so that we can instantly be in contact with each other. Yet we struggle to appreciate the deeper meaning behind the life and opportunities God blesses us with.
Unless of course, it comes to a stop.. Do you remember when your world came to a stop? Maybe it was the birth of a child, or the death of someone close to you. Certain events have a way of making the world stop: September 11, 2001, the assassination of President Kennedy.
Then when it starts, it sounds like an orchestra… Did the sounds somehow improve or did we learn to better appreciate the significance of what was already there?
The old man in the story learns to stop trying to live forever and better appreciate the time he was already given. The young teenage girl finds you deeper meaning and purpose for her life. Both of them learn how to better appreciate their time as a gift to be appreciated and valued.
Psalm 39:4-7 teaches much the same lesson.
“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered– how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to You; at best, each of us is but a breath.”
We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in You. (Psalm 39:4-7)
Over and over again, the psalmist reminds us: “Our time on earth will be brief. Our days are numbered. My life is fleeting. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment. At best, each of us is but a breath.”
Interlude. Pause. Think about it. Sometimes you cannot appreciate a sound until it stops. It is the silence that helps to bring meaning to the sound.
So, what have we learned? Where do we put our hope? Where is the significance and meaning we have been searching for?
My only hope is in you. My only hope is in you.
Psalm 46:10 says it another way: “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still.
“We do not realize the sound the world makes — unless, of course, it comes to a stop. Then, when it starts, it sounds somehow clearer, crisper much like an orchestra.”
My world has been full of noise and moving pretty fast lately. I needed to stop, to be still and be reminded of the God who provides my purpose for living, my reason for existing.
Stop. Interlude. “My only hope is in you.”
Renewed and filled with purpose, what was once noise transcends into a cacophony of beautiful sounds much like the music produced by an orchestra in the hands of a skilled conductor.
Sometimes I need a gentle reminder to stop and listen.
Thank you, God. Thank you. Amen.