“…and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” -Acts 17:26
The verse above isn’t talking about time, money, and calories but…it might as well be!
There are a few things in the world that just don’t lie. There are some things don’t move. They are time, money, and calories.
Let’s take them in order.
There are twenty-four hours in a day. Everybody gets an equal portion capitalists and socialists alike. I get the whole spacetime continuum and time is somewhat relative as light curves around large gravitational objects. But for everyone who lives on planet earth, you get twenty-four hours a day – no more, no less.
So, the meeting begins at 5:30pm. Some show up late because, well, for whatever reason.
Respect of another’s time matters. When one person arrives late he/she has actually taken time from the others. Essentially that person says what I’m doing is more important than what the group is doing. Or, it might be a simple expression of naivete and a lack of self-awareness.
We have not found a way to bend the reality of time. We have not found a way to go back in time and change previous behavior. The future? The future is ready to be shaped but not the past.
We have to work inside the reality of time.
Money is not something we have enough of :). It is set in value – mostly. There is an intricate system of checks and balances in money. It is amazing, so amazing that I do not have the words. It brings out the best and the worst in us.
Money has a way of making us pay attention to advantage and disadvantage. Want more? Work harder, think smarter, do more. Want less? Do less, be foolish, spend it on frivolous things.
Money gets you things but in order to get money you need to work! The entire world revolves around it, so it seems.
Don’t like money? Doesn’t matter. We have to deal with it. We need it to live. This is a clear and present reality. Money, like time is something we have to live with and cannot live without.
Calories. Oh yes.
Take too many calories in and you get..well, you know, fat! Do not take in enough and there isn’t enough margin to live. In North America, we are generally on the side of having enough calories. Of high-income countries, America ranks at the top of the most obese.
Calories don’t lie. We can say that eating too many calories reveals things. Lots of things! We do have surgeries that take out excess calories and we have surgeries that make the stomach smaller.
But we still haven’t found a legitimate way of eating EVERYTHING we want and not having to deal with the fall-out. We can change waist sizes and measurements but the reality is still the reality. We’re either obese or not.
God sets boundaries in place to educate us. These realities are proofs that he is there and that he is sane. He puts these in place to keep us honest, to keep us in play. Without these reminders of hardline realities who knows how far we would drift from his truth. We do have an amazing ability to rewrite history, to bend reality, to reshape it in a way that suits us.
Time and time again I come up against these things and am reminded of reality. It is the better part of wisdom to submit to God, to confess him and work inside his plan and not oppose it.
Sanity and flourishing await us in submission.
Photo credits from unsplash: noor-younis, Sharon-mccutcheon, and camila-melim.