Have you seen him; that scrawny little grandpa with grey whiskers sprouting from his ears? His scythe looks plenty big enough to tackle that rampant beard. He could be related to Santa Clause but for his giant egg timer.
I’m an odd bod, well so I’m told. As a kid I developed this fascination with ‘stuff.’ Like, how things work and why. Dad’s a mechanic and fiddles and twiddles with junk; boring gear, like car engines and boilers. I am so very not my dad’s son. I’m weird! So they say.
And as for Father Time with his wacky whiskers, this innocuous old geezer was partly responsible for my timely obsessions. Well him and Albert between them.
I have a maiden aunt, Bertha. She has a whisker too; a long, curly white one protruding from a globule under her left nostril. The rest of her is pretty antediluvian; and she’s such a dingbat. But you couldn’t help but love our Bertha.
She’s sneezed and wheezed her way through life; the first quick shot with the inhaler indicates a full scale heaving session. Looking out for aunt Bertha’s well-being is part and parcel of life. And she’s legendary for being ‘behind time.’
Now that intrigues me. You can be late, early or punctual; but behind? Does time wait for you to catch up? Can time stand still? So many questions. That’s because I’m a nerd who dwells on such things. I can’t stop myself until I’ve figured it out.
So off I went to London town. The Royal Observatory, home of Greenwich Mean Time, no less! There I stood astride the Prime Meridian line that divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the earth. I got such a buzz out of that. But it didn’t help me fathom why aunt Bertha was behind time.
I tried the Science Museum. I thought Albert with his famous theory may offer help. No joy there. My inquisitive grey matter ducked out, overstretched; legged it!
Undeterred I plodded on. Albert never gave up. He was pedantic, like me.
I thought the answer may lie in genetics, something to do with those strings of coloured beads. Chromosomes; I like that word. Did Bertha inherit a ‘behind time gene?’ I looked online because I’m a techno boffin too, when I’m not being a drip, or a professional bore.
‘Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present and future, regarded as a whole.’ Hmmm…
This is interesting. I never thought of time as being indefinite. I like definite better. I don’t do uncertainty. If time stops would aunt Bertha eventually catch up? Oh dear, more research indicated.
I have intrusive thoughts sometimes. I don’t mind much. It’s because my head is crammed with garbage. Sometimes it springs a leak, like now:
‘When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more.’ The song… aunt Bertha’s song; she warbles one each morning after her creamy porridge and lightly boiled egg.
I was a youngster when I asked the Lord to play his trumpet quietly, so Father Time wouldn’t snuff it. I was a strange kid!
But it got me thinking. ‘In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God.’* I knew that already. I’m not dumb; just different. And didn’t He, Jesus, say He’d be with us until the end of the age? God can’t lie so I reckon that time had a beginning and will end someday.
Aunt Bertha likes to scatter seed. No-one sees them but she hopes they’ll take root someday. That’s her all over, talking in riddles. No one listens.
I asked why she did that. She said that sometimes the time’s not right, but God’s timing is perfect. She exasperates me when she answers a riddle with a riddle.
I like plain facts, undiluted by waffle. I want concrete evidence. I crave truth! I tell her this and she says I need ‘THE TRUTH,’ but I wasn’t ready yet; that I’m too absorbed with Mr Einstein’s theory of his relative’s longlivity. Ah bless!
She added, I should read and heed the Father’s words to His children, before it’s too late. That’s rich! Coming from a woman who’s behind time.
But I did and I’m hooked! Revelation concludes with Jesus’ words: ‘Yes indeed. I am coming soon.’ * So now who’s the dingbat and who is the faithful servant of God?
In spite of her dreadful time keeping.
*John 1:1 NIV
*Rev 22:20 NIV
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