Per introduction of myself, considering this is my first post for this communal blog, I am an Master of Divinity Student at Fuller Theological Seminary who is graduating in about six weeks. I also have recently been married (3/21/09) to the beautiful Jennifer Lake. My life has been quite a rollercoaster in the past three or four years because I have experienced tragic death, the transformation of a friendship into love into marriage, and becoming a father of three wonderful, brilliant, and beautiful children. In anticipation of my wedding, the following thoughts began to percolate in my head. I had not planned on writing them down, but the day before my wedding I could resist no more, so I penned them. They are inchoate thoughts about the phenomenology of time or at least I think they are. I hope you enjoy.
Moments in time: the constitutive part of every part of day, which when looked at individually are mere blips in the large scheme of the time-continuum that provides us with the sense of the past, present, and future. Most of these moments mean little of anything to us most of the day. We go to the grocery and buy bread and peanut butter. Just another day. We drive our car to work. Just another day. Yet some of these moments take the shape and direction of our life and fundamentally change it so that it hardly resembles what it once did. The brakes of life are pushed to the floorboard and everything comes to a screeching halt before either slowly gaining speed once again or speeding off recklessly. Either way the direction always taken after such moments in time is different from the one previously traveled upon. Sometimes this change of direction from these instances, these moments, these blips is unwelcome. At other times this change of direction is anticipated, hoped for, awaited, prayed about, and joyfully received. In our existential journey from womb to tomb—this crazy thing called life—we experience these moments in birth and death, through a simple kiss, a word of encouragement, a letter of acceptance, a job opportunity, a wedding, graduation, etc.
Yet because these moments in time are the constitutive parts of past, present, and future we can hardly separate them apart and often time one reminds us of another. Two related moments may even be separated by the passing of much time, but when the second moment occurs the first is remembered, and through this remembering this once past occasion almost feels present rather than past. We experience this with Communion. The death of Jesus is remembered, yet not merely remembered, in our continuation of the practice of eating the bread and drinking the wine … or perhaps the Welch’s grape juice. Often times this occasion of the collision of two moments in time that have been long separated causes a mixture of emotions. We may be happy about the one while sad about the other. What happens in these moments is what we often call “happy tears.” These tears are healthy as we come to grips with the making of the present what has been past and the celebration of what is the present and will be the future.
Submitted by: Harris Bechtol