Sunday, January 12, 2020

Like the Flow of a River

In the Peace Column of the Catholic Peace Weekly, the writer tells the readers he has reached his
 60th birthday. The traditional 60-year lunar calendar would end a 60-year cycle and begin a new cycle with the new year. At age 60 you began a new cycle celebrating longevity and a new beginning.

Also, at 60 you understand the real intention of people and have an obedient ear. In his case, he doesn't see this happening. Rather afraid that he is becoming more intolerant and stubborn. He sees the many regrets, and anger which he hasn't been able to overcome and continues to groan about the past. He continues to be scared and aloof from the world and far from where he wants to be.

What's different about the New Year? The earth only traveled one more time around the sun. There is no substantial difference between 2019 and 2020. There is no starting line or finish line in outer space. The time of eternity flows silently, ignoring human naming and counting-- neither happy nor sad. It's just another year to live. What is the meaning of time? Looking back, life at times seemed long and on the other hand, it passed in the blink of an eye. One is not able to grasp time.

At the end of the year, we can hear the lamentation: "It's already December." "Time goes by really fast." "One year has passed like lightning." Why do humans miss the absolute time and measure the time with clocks?

Time is not flexible. Time does not flow evenly throughout the universe. Since Einstein, science has broken down the absoluteness of time. Slow on the flat ground and fast on the top of the mountain. Einstein's theory of relativity states that time and space are not as constant as everyday life would suggest. Time can run faster or slower depending on how high you are, and how fast you are traveling.  The uniqueness, independence, universality, continuity, and direction of time all fell apart.

I am filled with many doubts as the lunar New Year approaches. Does time exist? Man wrestles before time, draws pictures of gold in the air as they count the passing of time. "Teach us to count how few days we have and so gain wisdom of heart" (Psalm 90,12). God's way of counting is different from human counting. "To you, a thousand years is a single day"(Psalm 90,4).

Maybe time is an illusion. It may be an optical illusion that change makes. Man who lives in the moment does not understand eternity and absoluteness. You just fall into a memory trap and struggle to get out. You and my time are different There is no common present. There is only each person's time standing alone before the Creator.

Today becomes yesterday. Tomorrow is today again. So there is only today. The past has passed away into His arms, and the future has not yet been laid. So 'present' and 'gift' have the same meaning.

As you get older, you have to bow your head, but the neck is getting stiffer. More things to be thankful for, to share and relinquish but one doesn't know-how. He is full of pride and stingy in forgiveness and love. He has more things to discard.

“My grace is enough for you: my power is at its best in weakness”(2 Cor 12: 9). He understands this faintly. Wow, grace can be found in weakness. When we are weak the opportunity is there to become strong.

Twilight is visible far away. I will not be afraid. I will flow along like a river. I will reveal my weakness and ask for help. "Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything" (St. Therese of Avila).