i have a bad history of mis-hearing songs’ lyrics. one of these songs is “changing.”
in david bowie’s song “changes,” there is a line “time may change me but I can’t trace time.” my mind turned it into “time may change me but i can’t change time.”
as humans, we move through time. there is a forward progression. we start as a baby, travel in time infant, then to child, then to pre-teen, then to teen, then to young adult, then to adult, and then to senior citizen.
we covet those who came ahead of us. we are all in a perpetual chase to catch those who came before. there are older brothers, sisters, relatives, friends, and associates who are ahead of us in time. they have reached milestones ahead of us. we covet and are jealous of their success and achievement. we aspire one day to reach their success and achievement. we, however, in some respect will never catch them.
the torah relects on time. the master and creator of the universe exists through time. it would appear that god moves through time as much as we do. there is no indication that there is a capability of traveling back in time. surely, god, when confronted with humanity’s faults, could have used a time machine to cleaned up situations. thus, he could then avoided incidents in the garden of eden, and the necessity of the destruction of the earth via the flood at the time of noah.
thus, the universe, in whole struggles, with the challenges of moving through time. for us, there are mistakes that will be made. corrections that will need to be made. preventative actions that must be implemented.
unlike god, we have additional challenges. we must use our time to learn the world and how it operates. we must weigh in balance our lack of permanence and make preparations in accordance with it. we must plan for a future in which we may be leaving progeny to continue in time when we are no longer here.
thus, while we cannot change time, we can use our minds to adjust to its constant march. we must live our lives projecting the past, living in present, and projecting the future. thus, while we are physically in a moment in time, we must operate as if we are in three places at once. thus, in doing so, we maintain a balance, understanding, and meaning of time.
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