Throughout my life, I have mostly understood time as a commodity: something that we either have or do not have. Something of which we need more; something of which we complain about when it seems likes there’s not enough. In the last few years, every time I hear the word time, I think about these lyrics from the musical, Hamilton:
“You could have done so much more if you only had time…And when my time is up, have I done enough? Will they tell your story? And when my time is up…Have I done enough? Will they tell your story? Oh, I can’t wait to see you again…It’s only a matter of time.”
Throughout the musical, Alexander Hamilton is portrayed as living almost frantically, as expressed in this lyric, “why do you write like you’re running out of time?” I like the paradox in the musical that expresses the tension between time as something that one “runs out of” and time as something that fills a life with meaningful experiences, accomplishments, and most importantly – a story worth being told – even the broken parts.
And so I wonder: what story is being told in the way we spend our time? What kind of people are we being formed into as a result of the ways in which we choose to spend our time?
2020 has invited us as individuals, families, churches, communities, and nations to take a step back – to pause – and to evaluate the stories we are living and telling. We have had to make hard decisions all around, and that work continues. I wonder, when we look back at this prolonged season, what will be the story that is told about us as a church? What have we and what will we spend our time on? Where will our energies focus? What will be the priorities?
May we be a people who are telling a story with our time in which the inbreaking kingdom of God is centered. May we be a people willing to think creatively about how to be the church – how to tell our stories – how to live God’s story.