A few years ago Jim Croce had a hit song titled “Time in a bottle.” The thrust was it would be nice if we could store time, and then have it available for activities we enjoyed especially romantic love.
Croce abandoned the dream however as impractical and impossible.
He believed as most of us do, in the old saying “Time marches on.” We assume that one minute, hour, day, year, follows another for every person.
Enter Adam Miller, a professor of philosophy at a Texas college, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints.
In his book titled, “An Early Resurrection Life in Christ Before You Die,” he proposes that time is much more malleable than we generally think. Dr. Miller notes there have been numerous books written about how to effectively use time, manage time, save time.
But philosophers start one step back from those considerations and ask, “What is time? From his point of view it is a system set up to get us through this second estate. In this he agrees with Alma in the Book of Mormon, John in the book of Revelation, and Elder Maxwell in our day. There will come a time when there is no time.
Meanwhile present time is not lock stepped throughout the world and the universe. Heavenly Father and Jesus can actually arrange time in our favor. They can stretch it out when we need it, compress it when that is the best thing for us. They can put the end in the middle the middle at the first, rearrange things in whatever way they choose. It is a mind blowing concept to me.
As you would expect, such a glorious gift from the gods does not come free. But the price is within the reach of every person. We have to, as Paul puts it, “be alive in Christ.” We must live our lives as nearly as we can following the example of Jesus Christ. And following the direction the Holy Ghost gives us.
I have not achieved that lofty state of spiritual, mental and physical ability. But even as I have drawn closer to that worthy goal, I have found I am less stressed, and seem to be accomplishing more of the really important things in my life than I was before.
How does being alive in Christ work?
We do the same things as before, but instead of time being our antagonist, it becomes our ally. Paraphrasing an example he gives,
“I am in my office I have a stack of term tests I need to grade, I am hurrying to get to a committee meeting, I have other pressing obligations of family and church,. I open my office door, and there stands a student of mine. The student says ‘I need to talk with you.’
“I invite the student in, listen to the problems, and help the student. If I am ministering like Jesus, He makes the time work.” I get the other things done.
I am no doubt simplifying his explanation to fit my modest understanding but even my undergraduate approach and application have produced some satisfying results.
Don’t expect my transfiguration into an early resurrection to appear on the obituary page anytime soon, but know that I am trying it and in the modest degree to which I am following the formula, it is working.