Friday, December 4, 2009


I've been struck lately by how all of life happens in seconds. Thousands of little decisions flow past us like so much water. The channel of our life is cut by seconds, flowing over our decided course. Occasionally, we have those life changing, path changing opportunities - for a second, and then the choice is made and we go on. Even if we take some time to consider, that's the choice. As Pres. Wilford Woodruff said, to paraphrase, - "We do not tread twice the same water in a stream." We can ignore, but not escape, the value of life in "every, every moment" (Our Town, Oscar? Wilde).

This semester has happened in seconds - so many thousand seconds for this assignment, so many hundred seconds for this meal, so many tens of seconds for this thought. So many seconds procrastination flows into hours, evenings, days. A second of action precedes another, and another, and the job is done. If nothing else, I've learned that seconds are what make up minutes, hours, days, months, semesters, and a year.

I've been home a year now - but what I remember are seconds. A feeling in this moment, or a thought in that. A succession of seconds here- not necessarily continuous - like a slide show strobe, flashing relationships by. Agonizing seconds of doubt, redeeming moments of faith, forgiveness, and courage. The second of a decision confirmed; the number of seconds to realize that fact.

Decisions -what am I doing this moment? Is it right? What is the best use of the next moment? Will I do it? five, six, seven, nine, 15 seconds. Were they worth it?
I don't want to belabor the point - but how much more then, the words, "I need Thy presence every passing hour. None but thy grace can foil the tempter's power! ... Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day! ... Change and decay are all around I see: Oh, Thou who changest not - Abide with me!"