I wanted to talk about a quote today, so here goes:
“Time, like life itself, has no inherent meaning.
We give our own meaning to time as to life.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie
I like this quote, because it seems counter-intuitive. “What do you mean, life has no meaning? What do you mean, time isn’t important?”
Time is really only humanity’s way of putting order in our world. Time, when you think about it, restrains us. It holds us back from who we are. Especially when we start messing with the past, present, and future. Thinking on the past, while it teaches us how to act in the future, is somewhat pointless. At least the way most people do it. The past becomes not a teacher, but a ridiculer. A humiliator. We look in our past, and see our faults and mistakes. And so the past chains us. The future is just as devious. We think that having forethought will lead us to good decisions and favorable outcomes, but once again, that’s not how the future likes to roll. Dwelling on the future fills our brains with frivolous dreams that probably won’t become reality. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful thing to dream, and it’s helped many people. Go read “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and you’ll see what I mean about dreaming. Only the present really helps us. I’ve been convicted recently to stop dwelling on the past and present and focus only on one day at a time. It’s hard. And when this quote says that time is meaningless unless we give it meaning, Huie is saying that time can chain us in our past and future, but if we use them appropriately (give it meaning), we can do almost anything. There’s a balance.
After looking at time, it’s almost easier to see how life is meaningless unless we make it. Just as time is devious, so is life. Especially with the way the world is. We’ve crafted our world so that it is so easy to just give our lives to meaningless things: video games, facebook, movies, friends, items. I’m not saying that some of those things are meaningless; true friends and the building of real relationships are some of the best things we can pursue in this life. But so many people can fill their lives with inane pursuits only to realize that they are empty inside. In the effort to fill ourselves up with things, we don’t realize that we’re draining our life of what really matters. That’s why people find it so easy to commit suicide. Because they put their heart and soul into something that was temporary and unpredictable. “What really matters” may be different for different people, but just like the quote said, we are the ones who give our lives meaning. Just like with time, we have to recognize the deceptions of the world and make a decision for ourselves how we’re going to walk across the tightrope of life.