We’re all aware of time. We comment on how swiftly it passes or how monotonous it can be. We bemoan the fact that we’re aging, yet we can hardly wait for the new and improved IPad to be “in stores now!” or that new movie to be “in theatres everywhere!” The ironic thing is that the pace of time does not change; it is simply our perspective that alters.
This weekend I participated in my fifth 30 Hour Famine. This year we had roughly 70 students in attendance and most of them were the students I teach every day. Despite the hunger pains in my stomach, the cardboard taste in my mouth, the sweaty residue on my skin, and the concrete floor I had to sleep on, it was an amazing way to spend my time. Time seemed to slow down as I played games with my kids or let my shoulder be used as a pillow for a weary head. Time seemed to magnify the little things – the eyes reflecting hunger and determination, the jokes that can only come from shared suffering, the ready embraces that reveal gratitude for caring.
Most of all, time allowed me to hear that still, small voice of the Shepherd whispering, “Feed my sheep. Tend my lambs.” I knew what He meant. The students that have crossed my path at this moment are so used to being set aside for the more pressing demands of life – job, money, friends, whatever. They’re used to being told to, “Hurry up!” “Get to the point!” “Can’t it wait?” “Hold on! I’m busy.” “I’ll get to you in a moment.” “I have a few minutes to spare, so keep it brief.” They are seeking someone who will simply be available, who is willing to just be there, who cares about the little things (like his jumping over 2 desks at a time, or reading the first 12 chapters of her book, or scary dreams they had last night) as much as the big things (good grades, sports’ championships, plans for the future).
I may not have all the time in the world, since I only have one life to live; but I’m alive for this moment and that’s what I can give them.