I am not sure when this started, but as long as I can remember it has always been the Sajewich family way to set our clocks fast. The oven is the main keeper of the time because the kitchen stands central in relation to the rest of the first floor. In preparation to go anywhere, it is the oven clock that is consulted and either blessed for sparing us more time or cursed for eating it up. Thus, we have found a way to buy ourselves time by setting the clock ahead. It is currently a whole ten minutes fast.
The same goes for the clocks in our cars. My mom gives her car an extra four minutes, my brother’s was six. However, I had not kept with this trend in my own car. I really don’t remember purposely setting it two minutes slow, but that is what it ended up being. A very un-Sajewich thing to do on my part. It was quickly corrected one day when I drove my mom and I to church. On the way back, my mom asked me the time. I thought this was odd because it was right there on the display. Knowing my car was two minutes slow, I told her the actual time. I should have known what was coming. On cue, she presses the clock button to change it, and she buys me three minutes of time.
It struck me as an interesting concept in the moment, buying time. There are many reasons for desiring more time. It is indeed an evil thing. Time evades our grasp and slips away unnoticed. We wish more time for loved family members or friends who are nearing death; we wish more time in certain seasons of our lives we perceive to be the best of the best. Maybe we wish more time with a significant other before he or she is deployed or even just leaves for a short period of time due to a job. On the flip side, there are also reasons to beg time to move faster. Maybe it is pain or sorrow we are trying to escape or hurry along. Maybe we are waiting in anticipation of something we are looking forward to. I have definitely been in both circumstances. However, more times than not, when we are wishing for time to move faster, I think we are at risk of missing quite a bit of life. Despite the pain or sorrow we may be hurrying along, there is something very intentional to notice in this unwelcome period. Despite the excitement for what is to come, there is something very intentional to notice in the waiting.
There are moments in our lives that cause much reflection. Births, deaths, special occasions like birthdays, graduations, holidays, or a new year. Turning 25 in a couple days has caused quite a bit of reflection for me. It seems ages older than 24. My theory is at 24, you still mathematically round down to 20 so nothing to worry about there. Not so at 25, you are rounding up to 30 now. Yikes. Not saying I feel like I am basically 30, but the thought is sobering.
So being on the eve of 25, I would like to buy more time. More time with my dad before he died. More time with the people close to me. More time with my grandparents as they get older and older. For my mom and I specifically, the Lord has been so sweet in granting us this period of intimate time together. I didn’t think being roommates with my mom would be this joyful, but it has surpassed my expectations by a long shot.
In reflecting, then, it has become apparent to me that there is a real way to buy time. Not just by setting a clock three minutes fast. Rather, being intentional and present right where you are, despite the circumstances, because they don’t always reflect the reality of the time. I cannot possibly hope to see all the reasons why I am where I am currently. However, hopefully, I do see the people around me and the opportunities to love them well. I see the fulfillment in just being. How merciful it is that our sole presence as people can be so desired by others. My mom continually reminds me how grateful she is that I am home with her, and this reminder surfaces in my thoughts when I am feeling dissatisfied with my circumstances. Surprising my cousin’s 6-year-old daughter as she gets off the bus from school and her screaming and jumping in my arms, reminds me how none of my abilities or talents or accomplishments matter to her love for me. Being there and showing up is everything to her. What a precious reminder of what love looks like in its most pure forms. In that moment, I was full. Time was intentional. I bought time.