There is a time for each of us.
Published 2:30 pm Saturday, April 30, 2022
Time – 2 Peter 3-8 “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” “…the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues: DURATION.” Merriam-Webster
When I think about time…my brain races from that thought, to today, yesterday, last month, a year ago, years ago, people in my life now and gone, what I have and have not accomplished, “To Do” list, calendars reminding me another birthday is lurking, ready to alarmingly roll one more heavy number, clunk, forward on May 10 which become significant as to how many numbers/years are left – have I used those thus allowed by our Lord mighty God well, blown it, do I still have opportunities to improve….
So interesting in that although time is passing at the exact same rate for each of us…hours, days, years measured equally – tell that to our wonderful Ole Miss students, last day of spring classes yesterday – finals week begins Monday and to them time can be drudgingly slow…barely moving – graduation next Saturday…time stopping but just beginning for our graduates; to young people, time has no meaning; to high-flying business persons or ones counting birthdays – time is soaring – but different for each of us….
There are so many incidents that cause time to stop for each of us, health etc., or like ever been driving mindlessly on the interstate and suddenly have a flat or other issue, must pull off the road, maybe get a tow truck, then wait for the repair? It’s happened to me more than once – talk about time coming to a screeching halt!
The first true recollection of time for me was months out of college, fraternity lad to US Army soldier – arriving in Vietnam July 1969, Long Binh Replacement Center waiting to be placed for the rest of that obligated year – YEAR…12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days ahead…years previously flying by – I could not wrap my head around that! It was like looking down a set of railroad tracks vanishing into the distance – and with what dangers along the way – would I make it the full year? Like most everyone else, I kept a “Short-Timers Calendar” (still have it) where the block for each day was colored in…will never forget that first day and looking ahead at all the empty blocks spreading to infinity! The BLINK for that year was extremely welcomed – Whew, home that August 1970!
Arriving in Oxford 1988 to get my Ph.D., and work on Campus for 15 years, I had my new house built in 2000 – the trees construction workers cutdown in my backyard, I let grow back, my “wild zone.” Looking out my backdoor just now, so very proud of the forest that has grown up…perhaps my best legacy – but BLINK, that was 22 years ago!
On a recent swell spring day walk to the Ole Miss Campus from St. John’s, observing the bricks in the Circle sidewalk by Ventress for classes 2008 to 2021…a five second walk from each year to the next extending to the Circle, covered in just over a minute that took 13 years…BLINK caused me to stand motionless to contemplate where these students were now and how fast that same time passed for me. Arriving in Oxford, December 1988, I stood in front of the Lyceum, 10:00pm on a chilly, moon-lit night, thanking God for leading me here, saying that this was my university now, and was here to serve Him and our Ole Miss students.
Back to the end of Ole Miss Spring classes yesterday and finals week Monday…BLINK and all those spring (fall, summer) semesters, finals, and stress, completing my BS, MAT, MA, and Ph.D. flashed between my ears like a puff of smoke. Was it really May 10, 1997, when I was hooded for my Ph.D., by all-time hero, Chancellor Robert Khayat, on my birthday, entire family there including three sons, sisters, brothers-in-law, hero mom “Gert,” and as President of the Graduate Student Council (which I resurrected from nothing to the best in the nation two years later), delivered a commencement speech to the thousands present (sometimes time passing quickly is a good thing).
BLINK and I thankfully have been in Oxford 34 years, in my “new” house 22 years, cat Jag (Jaguar) adopted me in 2015, sons Stephen, Scott, Shane now adults – and although all is well, as in Vietnam, it’s difficult to discern what is ahead – like staring down that train track into infinity…but no worries, as then, thy will be done my Lord and God!
Best wishes and Congratulations Ole Miss students – good luck on your finals next week and in life! God Bless Ukraine!
Steve is an Oxford resident, worked on Campus and received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Ole Miss, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.