Clocks Versus the Time In Our Heads

by | Mar 13, 2024 | Formation, Reflections | 1 comment

Changing your clocks, watches, and iPhone settings might not be as important as you think. Before you panic about being out of sync for your 9:00 am meeting, hear me out!

“Spring ahead” and “Fall back” are important! But they may not be as important as understanding and working with the time clocks in our heads.

So here is a question. Does time run faster as we age?

It certainly does for me. Each week I fill my weekly pillbox. I think. “Didn’t I just fill that two days ago?” At one level we experience the same number of minutes each week. – The 10,080 minutes just feel like a lot less!

Does “time march on” faster as we age?

I suspect most of us can remember the eternity of waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus and his gifts. Or, the near-universal “Are we there yet?” during a boring car ride?

Our experience as adults is quite different. We can become unnerved when we realize that it is Christmas again. The past year races by so quickly. Tevia said it well in Fidler on the Roof. “Sunrise, sunset, where have all the days gone.?” Yet, there are still 365 days each year.

What accounts for this difference?

An article in “Psychology Today” helped me understand the difference.

In childhood, adolescenceand young adulthood, life is full of “first times.” On a daily basis, we learned many new things.

Each year for a child is a completely new year: biologically, psychologically. Eventually, we leave school and parents; Perhaps we move to another city; we find a partner, start a long-term job; children are born … memories of deep significance accumulate.

However, what creeps in slowly over the course of the years? Routine. “Been there, done that, got the pictures!”

(Of course, it is true that some people seek to live only in a world fixed in in a particular moment of time.)

Seeking more!

The first kiss, the first vacation without the parents, the first money earned … those memories have a special status in our lives. The thing is, when we grow older, fewer events of significance are experienced and stored in memory. As a result, subjective time speeds up, at least it seems so.

We rarely seem to outgrow the craving for something newer, bigger, or better.

Our hearts are restless

As I thought of this my mind reviewed thoughts of time throughout history There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:5-9)

Yet Jesus came to tell us there really is more.

St. Paul understood! “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into no human heart the things which God has prepared for those who love God.”. (1 Cor 2:9)

In his famous “Confessions” Augustine allows us to overhear his conversation with God. “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you”!

One of the greatest minds in history, St. Thomas Aquinas used a different image. After a lifetime he thought his brilliant insights were as straw when compared with being caught up in God.

Even Apple founder Steve Jobs, in his last moments, looking into space simply exclaimed “Wow! Wow!”

It seems they all agree. We thirst for more… the eternally new of the eternal now.

T.S. Eliot sums it up

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

A question

Can Lent be a time for breaking out our routine and discovering something new about the meaning of “Our Father?

Originally posted on Vincentian Mindwalk


1 Comment


    Thanks for sharing. Good morning and God bless you. Greetings from Botswana to you.