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Does Time Need to Fly?

Friday, 15 February, 2019 - 10:01 am

Our youngest daughter, Faigie, just got engaged, thank G-d.

So many e-mails and voice messages seem to echo my gut reaction: Where did the years go?

Why does time seem to fly, and melt into a blur? Is it only as we grow older?

Perhaps.

Let’s look at how children operate.

Watch a child’s wonder at observing an ant, the moon or a river. My grandchildren’s lives seem to be a string of exciting adventures, capturing their full curiosity and engagement.

Adults tend to live differently.

We aspire to stable relationships, jobs etc., which means we live with a lot of repetition. The stream of new curiosities is largely replaced with a to-do list of things which we've done countless times before.

Repeating an exercise will often generate less emotional engagement, since one’s “auto-pilot” often kick in.  

For example: I've noticed that when I am finding my way – especially sans GPS - to a new location, my trip home seems quicker than my original journey. I think it’s because I am thoroughly engaged – all synapses firing - during my initial trip into unknown territory, engrossed in my directions, every street sign, traffic patterns.

On the way back, more familiar with the way, I can drive on semi auto-pilot - listening to music, conversing (hands-free of course) with others or lost in my own thoughts.

When a day is filled with discovery, every moment is an experience; so a day is truly a FULL (experience-filled) day. It thus takes up more space in my life.
Conversely, a day that's basically a 'repeat' tends to quickly fade into the background. It’s more likely to fade into the blur of my past.

But even we adults can pro-actively bring our days to fuller life.

The Torah describes the aged Abraham as being “elderly, coming into his days.” The Rebbe explained the second (unusual) adjective as meaning that Abraham internally experienced every single day. Every day was a meaningful adventure, in that every day was a gift from the Divine, full of opportunities for strengthening his moral character, his relationships, his soul.

Abraham experienced no time-blur. There was full appreciation for – and wholesome engagement with - the now. So, his hours and days remained in full color. We can safely assume that Abraham never asked Sarah: “Where have the years gone?” 

Some days are especially memorable for me, like when my youngest daughter gets engaged. I’m sure you’ve had special days that resonate in your memory.

Today, with whatever it brings, is a whole new day. A day with entirely new opportunities. For all of us.
 Make this hour an Abraham hour. Then make it an Abraham day.

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