The Quick-Sands of Time 

Hard to believe 2021 has drawn to a close, isn’t it? Around this time every year, I reflect and can’t figure out how the new year’s baby grew into an old man beyond my notice. When I was younger, the year used to roll by like an antique, rickety wagon being pulled by an arthritic horse, but as I’ve grown older, it flies by with the speed of a brand-new, multimillion-dollar sports car.

I’m not one to recap “the year that was,” but I thought I’d share a truth that occurred to me in my rumination. In pondering the change of lifestyle we’ve all experienced in the past couple years, I realized time doesn’t just move forward linearly; rather, it can encompass you like quicksand. I’m not talking about how it can swallow you to your demise or anything gruesome like that, but I’m referring to the way it can sink you into a mentality without you being aware of it.

For example, I received a card a few years ago, and when I saw the return address, I said out loud, “I don’t know anyone from there!” Incredulous, I opened the envelope, which reminded me I did know someone from there. We lost touch years before, which saddened me for quite a while. Yet, in that moment, I didn’t have any recollection of them. I couldn’t believe how, somewhere along the line, time sucked out my sorrow and sunk me into genuine apathy.

I realize I’m not alone in this, as everybody experiences time tugging former acquaintances apart. That’s why we hear a lot of people holler, “Hey, you,” at reunions to conceal that they can’t remember each other’s names. The daily demands of life crowd out the attention you once devoted to people or activities in the past. They become like dreams in the night that your brain terms insignificant and discards by morning.

As a firm believer in creation, I don’t promote evolution. Just the same, it’s no secret that we adapt to changing circumstances, which helps us to move on even when it goes against our nature. I don’t like change and usually don’t handle it well initially, but if I stick it out long enough, I conform to the point of forgetting my struggle—for the most part, anyhow. I wouldn’t say I’m completely on board with the adage, “Time heals all wounds,” but it can definitely mask them.

While time’s cleansing effect is beneficial in many ways, it also reminds us of the need to keep up with the aspects of life we don’t want it to wipe away. If we don’t maintain good habits or even good friendships, we can’t expect to elude time’s ability to sink them out of sight. Just like an abandoned property, the ground will sprout new life—mostly weeds—and transform our landscape into something even we have difficulty recognizing.

I once wrote a poem about time and suggested we could overcoming it, but now I understand you can’t in reality. It’s an uncontrollable force that does as it pleases. The acknowledgement of its power, however, can help us choose how to use it. We’ll never evade its grip, but at the very least, we can try to manipulate it to sink us into the right kind of sand.

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