|"No time to say, Hello, Goodbye,|
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late..."
Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
I love children's fairy tales and Alice in Wonderland is at the top of my list of best books ever written! Of course, it doesn't hurt that this classic was written by a gifted author whom I fantasize was a distant uncle who passed down his love for writing to me! A favorite grand-grand-grand niece that he knew was coming in the future!
But, enough of that. This is a serious expose on the trouble with time! It is always running ahead of us, don't you think? The picture of the white rabbit, scurrying past Alice, checking his watch, unable to pause even long enough to say hello or goodbye, tickles my sense of humor and fills me with little girl giggles at our human tendency to announce our own self-importance! After all, if I don't announce it to you, you might miss it!
Alice can hardly believe her eyes watching the rabbit, dressed in his very proper attire, barely able to acknowledge her presence, as he chastises this child for interrupting his day. Where is he going? He doesn't know. He's just impressed with how important he is going there! Now that's classic! Because we are all so like that! We are just so busy doing something, we think it must be very important and, surely, everyone knows it! Right? Hold up there - we might be missing something!
This delightful and artfully drawn picture of our own self-importance and tendency to strut it for all the world to see, brings to mind one of the many times in the gospels the disciples strutted and vied for attention as the 'most important' in the kingdom. Time after time, Jesus pops their inflated egos and brings them down to earth with a thud!
One of those classic episodes happens in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 19. It is one of their "moments" and they are reveling in the time they have with the Master. The last thing they want is to be interrupted by a bunch of whiny, crying, demanding little children. It's late, it's late! They don't have time for this! But, Jesus, once again, stepping outside the script the guys have written for Him, takes the little ones to Himself, gathers them in His arms and pulls them on His lap. He stops the clock for them. He puts them first. He makes room for them when His followers push them away. Jesus didn't accept their exaggerated sense of their own self-importance. He pointedly drew their attention to the children. See the children in front of you, He seems to be saying. Stop what you're doing. Listen to them. Really see them. Love them. "For, of such is the Kingdom of Heaven!" Matthew 19:14
Jesus, the most important person ever to enter human history, stops the clock for little children. He often stops along the way for those that are ignored by the rest of the world. Children, the sick, the mentally ill, the elderly, the forsaken, the dying. He seems to be saying, "Get it straight. This is what really matters to Me."
Stop the clock. It's later than you think...