No matter how many times we think about time, the thing is, the time is always now. Have you ever felt anxious or nervous, struggled with patience, or wished hours or days away because something wasn’t happening quickly enough? Have you felt “ready” and maybe frustrated, asking God or the Universe “why, oh why” or “what is taking so long?” Have you maybe even complained about the pace of your life and been guilty of missing the present because you were so busy trying to live in the future?
I think all of us have had times like this, where we might need a gentle reminder of the importance of timing.
“The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.” – Joshua Harris
I know it’s hard sometimes, and seemingly impossible at others. I also know that there is always a reason for the timing of things. Even when we don’t see it in real time, even when we only see it in retrospect, or even if we never see it at all. There are things we are learning and experiencing every step of the way, that lead us to where we are in the now. And it is necessary that we become who we are in the now, in order to successfully take the next step and move into the future: our next “now.” Because while we are wishing away the present, the present is all we really have for sure. We have this very moment. And now that you have finished reading that sentence, you are in “this” very moment. And now … another moment still. The growth that we need is in these moments. Without this new growth, which we may or may not recognize as it is happening, we are not able to walk our path. And with this new growth, we are no longer able to turn back and remain where we once stood.
“Once the mind has been stretched by a new idea, it will never again return to its original size.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Lately, while discussing this very thing, I heard myself using an analogy that feels truer and truer every time I share it. I am going to share it with you and perhaps you can chew on it and leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts.
If you are a parent or have ever been entrusted with the care of a baby, you know what a long process it can be when a baby is cutting teeth. A baby or child who is teething will probably drool. A lot. He or she will likely run a fever. More than once. There is often pain along the jawline and into the ear, causing the child to do one or all of the following things: Cry. Rub his ear. Rub his jaw or face. Refuse to eat. Refuse to drink. Feel lethargic because he is not eating and drinking as usual. Refuse to sleep. Sleep at odd times because he is drained, and then wake at odd times because it hurts. All of these things are happening because although a tooth hasn’t popped up through the skin yet, there is movement happening beneath the gum, that we cannot see. This movement is not only part of the teething process, but it is also absolutely necessary. Without this movement happening, things would not be getting ready and in proper position, for the optimal teething breakthrough. This alignment is critical.
Yes, it is painful. Yes, we try to soothe tears and we lose sleep and sometimes it seems like it will never end, and we want that tooth to come on through already!
And here’s the beauty of this struggle: that tooth comes through. And it cannot go back underneath the gum. And look what happens next. All those difficult side effects subside. They weren’t the problem; they were symptoms of movement. Signs of growth. And then … that baby is one step closer to chewing. To experiencing new things. New food. New feelings. New abilities. A new smile. This will happen again. And again. And lo and behold, that child will soon chew on things and digest things in life that he could not possibly have taken in before.
How amazing is that!?
I believe this is similar to what we go through when we face a new season in our life.
Change is uncomfortable. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it tests us. But we can honor it, take care of ourselves, give ourselves the time and whatever else we need to get through the transition, and know that when we come out of it we will have grown. We will now be ready for what awaits us. And we cannot, and should not, ignore this and go back.
The time is always now.
And in the meantime, be gentle with yourself and allow yourself the movement underneath. Instead of underestimating it, embrace the greatness that it is.
Where greatness lies, greatness will rise.
“Spiritual growth involves giving up the stories of your past so the universe can write a new one.” -Marianne Williamson