Should we start the New Year today?

Out with the old and in with the new! New Years Eve! The end of our past and the beginning of our future! All over the world, we count down the minutes and then seconds until a New Year begins. New Years Eve represents a finish and a time to put failures and bad dreams behind us. New Years day represents a new beginning. We pray and hope that each year will be better than the last. Curiously, we celebrate this ending with a night of wild parties and much drinking.

Do you ever wonder why so many people get drunk on New Years Eve? Is it simply to forget the past or is it to celebrate the past? How many New Years days have been ruined before they even got started? Tonight we drink, tomorrow we make promises about how different our lives will be and what changes we will make. Each New Years is a time of magic. We think it will mean great differences in our lives, but how long do these commitments usually last? Go to the health clubs on New Years day and the parking lots will be full. By early March, the parking lots will be back to their normal contingent of cars. The landscape will be littered with failed promises and failed New Years resolutions. Some may think that they can escape this debacle by simply not making any resolutions. Instead their failures simply remain with them day after day.

Thankfully, we have 365 chances each year to start our life anew. You don’t have to wait until New Years day to begin again. Each day you fail, tomorrow is a new start. If each day your commitments can last a little longer than the last time, you are making progress. You do not have to wait until a New Year to start over. The only failure in life is not starting over again. Each time I fall down and get up again I am a success. Each day that you make a new commitment to try, you are a success. Each time your commitment lasts a little bit longer than the last time you are a success.

So today, before New Year even begins, what are you going to do with your life tomorrow? What have you been putting off that you can now start? What do you want to do to make your life better? Who needs your help in the world? What challenges can you start? What ideas in my blog do you want to go back to? What reflections should you think about some more? What projects do you need to spend more time on? Who could you share my time with? Sharing our lives with others is the greatest success of all. Good Luck and happiness in the New Year.

Does it take time or just luck?

“If we cannot do everything at once, let us do one at a time.” – Thomas Jefferson. For some of us, starting anything is an overwhelming task. We are bogged down by the complexity of the project and do not know where to start. We fail to remember that all great journeys start with the first step. How many times have you heard that phrase? By now you are probably sick of it! However, if it fails to inspire you, then what will? Rome was not built in a day! A stitch in time saves nine! Haste makes waste! All of these aphorisms are just little tricks to help us remember that we can’t do it all at once.

Anything worth doing takes time may be another cliché but it is also an iron law of the universe. Tiger Woods practices more than 10 hours each day. Wayne Gretsky, Jean Claude Killy, Valentino Rossi and many other great world champions all started when they were less than five years old. If you link genetics, an early start and much time spent in practice, you have a formula for success. Wal-Mart started in 1954 in Bentonville, Arkansas, a town most of us never heard of. In 1985, most of us had never even been to or heard of a Wal-Mart. By 2005, it was the largest corporation in the world – an overnight success?

All too many people look for luck to make their day. They hope to win the lottery, strike it big at the local casino or score on some big class action lawsuit. Waiting for luck is the greatest waste of time I can think of. We make our own luck. Were Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, two of the richest people in the world lucky? Did they get their money in a crackerjack box? If you want to get lucky, start by putting that one foot forward and then follow it with the other. If you want to have a great life and a great adventure, start now. What is one thing that you can do today that will start you on that great journey? Pick one thing today that and do it. What is the next step that you can take on your great adventure?

What is the relationship between time and "Flow?"

According to one theory of time, events mark time. Without events, there is no time. We measure time by births, deaths, disasters, significant milestones etc. But is this all that time really is, the passing of events? Sometimes it seems this way as we count the weeks by each day passing and the months by each week passing and the years by each month passing. The seasons pass and soon our brief lives are over. The historians tell us what has been significant and what is worth remembering.

However, do we really only measure time by the passage of events? What if we stopped chronicling our bios, happenings and daily events? What if we could simply forget them as soon as they passed? Have you ever dwelled on some event long after it was over? Or, kept repeating some problem or issue in your mind? Some people can do this all their lives. We might tell them to “get over it” and move on but they are stuck in the event. They are still living in high school or college or with their first love. These individuals seem to be unaffected by the passage of events. They have found the one significant event for them and they want to stay with it forever. We all know somebody who fits this description. They cannot seem to move on with their lives. The big event might have been a tragedy, a touchdown pass or a fantastic vacation, but they will relive this over and over again. To some degree, we all do this. There are key people and events in our lives that we will never forget. However, we all must move on to continue growing and developing. To stay in the past is to relinquish the opportunity for new pleasures and new adventures. The past is safe though and the future is uncertain. That is what keeps many people stuck. Who wants to take the risk associated with moving forward and embracing the unknown?

How do you deal with the flow of life? Are you sometimes stuck in the past? Where are you stuck? What do you need to do to move on with your life? What events or issues can or should you forget and just let go of? What is holding you back? Are you afraid of the future?

When does time end?

Are we getting close to the “end of time” or just the end of the year? Have you ever really thought about when time would end? Will time end only when the world and the universe end? Or maybe time will just quit, like a watch that stops running. Some religions believe that time ends on judgment day. Do you think that there are any clocks in heaven? What about hell? Does the devil track time for us? What about Purgatory? “Purgatory (Lat., “purgare”, to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.” (New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, ).

The Catholic Church teaches that we need to spend in Purgatory for certain offenses. Since the punishment is temporal and not eternal, do you suppose they have clocks in Purgatory? Who do you suppose winds them up? Can you imagine spending 500 years in Purgatory and watching the clock until you are released?
Perhaps, time will wear out when we get tired of keeping time.

People have been thinking about time since the first human beings walked the earth. Time seems to be part of the human psyche. If humans did not have time, they would certainly have created it. It is hard to imagine anyplace where we would not mark time. Heaven qualifies as one place though where there would seem to be no reason to mark time. Why keep track of time when everything is eternal and unchanging? Heaven should be a place where there are no goals, no accomplishments, no meetings, no places to get to, no tasks to complete, no projects due, no emails to answer and no shortage of time. If any of these things existed in heaven, then we would need to track time.

So what do we do in heaven? We all seem to want to get there, but what do we do with our “time” when we are there? I guess we just play all day since play does not require us to track time. Can you think of anything else that does not require us to mark time? Perhaps if we could just play all day, then time would end. Would little children invent time? Children do not seem to worry about time as much as adults. What if we played more and worked less? Could we cut time down some? Can you “end time” when it is just play time? As adults we become more and more fixed on the idea of time and the limitations that time places on our lives.

Maybe we should create a “holiday” each year where time stops. A day when you do not have to keep track of time or when time does not matter. It is difficult to think of living a single day when you are not keeping track of time. I guess you will just have to wait until you get to heaven for time to stop. Do you suppose anyone wears watches in heaven? When was the last time, you were able to forget about time? How long did it last? What does it take for you to forget about time?

Can we ever make up lost time?

Making up for lost time can be bittersweet. I have a daughter who has not talked to me for many years now. I think of the time that has gone by and how we could have spent it together doing things we could never afford to do when she was younger. I think of how as adults we could and should have become good friends with talks by the fireplace and walking in the woods. She is over forty now and I am past 60 and the clock keeps ticking and ticking. I think of the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years that keep moving on by, each moment lost forever to us as this blanket of silence shrouds our lives. Time lost forever, or can it be made up? What if she suddenly decided that she wanted to have a relationship with me? Could we make up the lost time? If we started today to try to get to know each other; imagine the events that have changed our lives, the places we have been to, the books we have read, the movies we have seen, the funerals and weddings we have been to, the jobs and careers we have changed, the grandchildren we have helped raise. So much that has changed each of us.

Difficult to imagine making up lost time, nevertheless, few of us would not try if given the opportunity. It is a bittersweet opportunity because while we are trying to make up the lost time, we may feel joy at the opportunity but also anger at the waste of time that could and should have been prevented. It might be water under the dam, but it will always seem like a waste. I have known brothers and sisters, parents and siblings and former friends who did not talk to each other for over fifty years. Unfortunately, some of them died and there went any possibility to make up for lost time. There are no guarantees in life and if you choose to waste time or lose time, perhaps you will never be able to make it up. It might be too late when you finally realize your mistake and ask yourself WHY? You will be left with regrets about what might or could or should have been.

Perhaps you have no control over your lost time. Time spent in jail, time spent recovering from an accident, and time spent in a relationship that was wrong may all constitute lost time. Lost time is time away from life that could have been lived much differently. It is time that could have been spent more productively and happily. Can this time be made up? Better to not lose it in the first place. But if you have lost it, then do your best to get on with you life. Live each day the best you can. As they say with money, don’t throw good money after bad. Do not throw good time after bad. The lost time is over and you have the rest of your life to live. If you can live each day the best you can, you will be able to put the lost time behind you and perhaps even forget it someday. Then again, maybe the time that was lost was a lesson and you needed to hear the message it was sending. A good friend of mine was fond of saying: “There are no mistakes in life only lessons to be learned.” I think of this comment often. It is a good lesson to remember.

Do you have any lost time to make up? Are you currently losing time that you should not be losing? Have you thought about how you can stop losing this time? What can you do today to make it up? What might you feel regrets about someday if you do not change your life today?

How about giving a gift of Time today?

A gift of time! In today’s time deprived world, this might just be the greatest gift of all. With everyone so busy, time becomes the most precious commodity. Bestowing such a gift on others could show how much you care for or love them. You might be poor in terms of money, wealth, material goods but you are as rich as Bill Gates in terms of time. The richest people in the world have no more time than the poorest. In fact, they may have less since they are so busy earning and accumulating money.

Each of us has it in our power to give a gift of time both to others and to ourselves. Children, relatives, loved ones and friends might all find your gift of time more meaningful and valuable than anything else you could give them. Can you imagine a Christmas where no presents or money was exchanged? The only gifts that would be exchanged would be gifts of time. It would probably create havoc in the economy. No one would go into debt during Christmas and the mass hysteria associated with the Christmas shopping ritual would be destroyed. Why go into debt when you can make others happier by giving something even more precious than money and something you can give for free? A gift of time is a gift of humanity. It is a gift of yourself.

When was the last time you gave anyone a “gift” of time. How often do you share yourself with others? Are you always “too busy” to help someone else? Can you think of someone whom you could give a gift of time? How does it feel to create this gift and to give it away? What if you gave a gift of time to someone each week? What if you gave yourself a gift of time each week?

Christmas Time: what does it really mean?

Christmas Time is the celebration by Christians of the birth of Jesus Christ. He was born in a manger to Joseph and Mary. Christians celebrate December 25th as the birth of a man whom they claim to be the son of God. Other religions would disagree that he was a God, but none would disagree that he was a great prophet. His message was simple: love everyone: sinner, enemy, friend and family alike. The Christmas season today has become associated with gift giving, family traditions, Santa Claus, Christmas stories, Christmas trees, burning candles, holiday lights and the holiday shopping season. Christmas is said to be a time for children, who tend to be the recipients of the most gifts and toys. We all enjoy seeing the expression on the faces of little children as they unwrap a special gift with pretty wrapping paper and ribbons and bows. However, during the Christmas season, many spend a great deal of time trying to find the right gifts for their older friends and loved ones as well.

Some people feel that Christmas Time has become contaminated by the incessant advertisings and commercialism that litter the holiday season. Shopping used to start after Thanksgiving; it now starts after Halloween, a full month earlier. Indeed, it is easy amid the hustle and bustle to lose sight of the main reason to celebrate this season. Jesus Christ brought a message of love and peace to the world. It is ironic that during times of war and strife many people preaching his message have been sarcastically labeled as peaceniks, doves and war protestors. These labels are applied as though peace and love for other human beings was a bad thing. If Jesus were alive today, would he be a peace protestor or would he be a war supporter? Would Jesus be in the frontline of the anti-war movements or would he be Pro-War? Would Jesus be a dove or a hawk?

If you celebrate Christmas, how much time do you put aside to celebrate the message of Love and Peace that Jesus brought to the world? Is Christmas Time for you a celebration of the Peace Message or do you support a War Message? Do you work for peace or do you work for violence? Does your belief in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness extend to all human beings or just those of your own religion and nationality? This Christmas Time, will you spend as much of your energy on peace and love as you do shopping and putting up your Christmas tree and household decorations? How will you extend the message of peace and love to others in the world this Christmas Time?

Are God and Time the same?

Is God time? God is perfection. God is omnipotent. God is omniscient. God could build the universe in seven days. Did God create time or is God Time? What if God was like a giant pacemaker. All the beatings of each heart, all the changes of nature, all the changes in humanity are governed by a God with infinite pacemaker capabilities. Everything that is going to happen is already known. Each act in the universe already scripted in God’s timepiece. All events are pre-determined. Some people would call this determinism and say it has no place in the freewill that God gave humans. Other philosophers would disagree and say that determinism and free-will can coexist. (See Bea Best: “A Case for Freewill and Determinism,”

If God was time, it would explain many things that we never seem to understand. Accidents and random events that do not make sense in the short term might make more sense when understood on a cosmic level. Perhaps we could understand why justice seems to occur very slowly but nevertheless inevitably. God does not forget, there is just a time and place for everything. If we could look at God’s schedule we would be able to foretell all that is to come and perhaps comprehend why things unfold as they do. If God was time, we would not have to worry about the lateness or earliness of anything, nor would we worry that the world was going in the wrong direction or the wrong political parties were in control. According to God, things would happen for the best in the long-term.

We puny humans cannot understand time on a cosmic infinite scale. We are constantly left wondering as to the complexity and strangeness of the universe. Even our own lives and actions constantly surprise and befuddle us. Why do we act like we do, why do others act like they do? Most of the universe is like a giant jigsaw puzzle that we just can not figure out. All of our theories and hypotheses and scientific findings cannot account for this infinite puzzle that seems to strangely unfold before our eyes. It is like a play with most of the action happening unseen off stage. We never know what will happen next or why it will happen. We are just content to say “its time to go.” Do you think God is time? Can you understand what you are about or why you were put on this earth? Do you think you serve a larger cause or are you just a random event?

What is time? Can you see it or hear it?

What is time? Do we even know what time is? Is it the passing of the seasons, the snow falling, our bodies aging or the leaves turning? Is it the sun rising and the moon going through phases? Is it the lines that grow in my face as the days, weeks and months pass into years? Is it my cell phone, my digital PDA or my analog wristwatch becoming obsolete? Is it my alarm clock, the radio, the TV or the five o’clock news telling me the time of day? Is time something you feel or sense? Do you even believe in something called time? Can you feel it or touch it or is it just in your mind? How do you know what time really is or do you need to care? Do you want to know what time it is when you are on vacation or during the weekends? Do you wear a watch for style or function? Do you take life one day at a time or do you plan your life months in advance?

What if time stopped? What if the word time did not exist and you had never heard of the idea of time? What would a life without time and all the ways we measure it be like? What if we had no schedules and no rules for “being on time?” What if there were no birthdays, anniversaries, holidays or special days to remember time? What if we had no place to go where we had to be on time? What if there were no planes, ships or buses that left “on time?”

Can you conceive of a world without time? What if our clocks all stopped for just one day? What time would you get up today if there was “no time?” How would you live today if there was no place to be on time? Would your life be different if you could forget the concept of time or if time did not exist? What if you could just do things over and over again until you got them right? Does the concept of time help you to live a better life?

Are these reflections timeless?

Are these reflections timeless? As I have worked on the reflections and ideas in this blog, I have wondered about how timeless or not timeless these thoughts will be. Will they speak to other cultures if translated into their language? Will they be readable 25 or 250 years from now? Will the ideas, questions, comments and theories still be interesting and thought provoking long after I am dead? Or will this just be another collection of faddish ideas and my reflections soon relegated to the bottom of the “used blog” pile?

How long will my blogs be readable and how many people will really find value in my blogs? Will future generations coming upon this blog, still think it is worth reading and reflecting on? From my current perspective, the readings in this blog should still be useful whether you read them today, tomorrow or a hundred years from now. But of course, we all have blinders on and how can I know the future or what needs, wants, desires and problems people will be dealing with 100 or 200 years from no? Today, these issues and ideas seem meaningful and important. Tomorrow, they may just be another set of antique and quaint ideas. Someone in the year 2200 coming upon my reflections may wonder about how simple and naïve people were in the 21st century.

A second question I have pondered while writing these blogs deals with how many times you could read my reflections and still get any value out of it? Or how many times, you will need to read them before you get any value out of them? I have often read something several times before the light bulbs went on and I understood what the author was getting at. There are many questions in my blogs for you to answer. Have you really been taking the time to answer these questions or do you just read the reflections and skip the answers? What if you did answer all of the questions? Do you think you would get more out of my blogs? Is it too late now or could you go back and start over if you have been skipping the questions? Would these reflections be more valuable to you if you did answer all of the questions? Have you found any value in answering the questions? Do you think you will ever read some of them again? Why not? Send me your opinions; I would love to hear from you.

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