“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.” -Gandalf
I’m learning the deep wisdom of these words. How often have my daily routines been altered by the sweeping winds of change? At their whims I’ve been led down unforeseen paths. I’ve met with circumstances, both good and bad, which were well beyond my control. My own plans proved fruitless, even vain.
The world is a swirl of lives and forces which batter and sculpt our lives. We’re so utterly dependent on each other, the unknown folks who produce our food, control the power grid, drive along side us on the roads. We are part of something larger that any one of us. How naïve it is to place such stringent claims on our daily schedules.
I also begin to see that time is not ours to own. We need them to inspire and even guide our lives. But we have no claims on the time frames and schedules. Time is something that is given only by the grace of God. We can’t claim a life of 80 years. We can’t even claim a day of 24 hours. All we have is this moment. We plan great things in the expectation that we will see them to fruition. But that is only in hope of God’s grace. Time is not ours to control.
The only thing we have is now. I don’t mean in an existential hedonistic sense, where we live with no sense of eternal consequence. Life is meaningful because of the eternal consequence of each moment. We live as disciples of Christ now, because we may not have that opportunity tomorrow. This awareness focuses life into a greater clarity. Each moment is meaningful. The roads we travel may take us to places we don’t expect, but we have opportunity to make the most of the journey knowing that time is on loan. There is no time for moral and spiritual procrastination.