Thursday, March 16, 2017

Our Only Time Is Now

The blustery winds of yesterday, from North Carolina to Maryland, blew us back home to snow and frigid weather.  But our home was warm and our driveway plowed, thanks to our friends.

Today is the 75th day of 2017 and I think of Isaac Watt’s lyrics in the hymn, O God, Our Help in Ages Past: “A thousand ages, in thy sight, are like an evening gone,” and “Time, like an ever rolling stream…”  Time waits for nothing and is continually “ticking” away.  Time is like a stream, always flowing, always moving forward.   “Back to the Future” makes for a fascinating movie, but it is an impossibility.  Time will not allow it.  You cannot go back to another time, whether it is to  “Make America Great Again” or to remove some mistake or misfortune of the past.  The past is past, the future is unknown, the only time we have now is the present—this moment in time.  We can better deal with this present time if we know something about past time (history).

Just two years ago we were with our granddaughter Katie in Wales and visited a number of towns and cities in the UK, including the beautiful city of York.  It was there that I encountered a piece of history that had apparently been left out of the history books I had read.  In 2006 the Jewish Community celebrated the 350th anniversary of its re-admission to England in 1656.  I never knew Jews had been expelled from England!  On March 16, 1190, the Jews of York gathered at Clifford’s Tower in fear (after being falsely blamed for having set fire to the city).  Here, at Clifford’s Tower, they were massacred.  I never knew that!  Did you?  The stains of yesterday (and they are many) should remind us that in “our time” we must be exceedingly careful not to repeat the sins of the past.  Did you know that on this date in 1995 the Mississippi House of Representatives formally abolished slavery and ratified the 13th Amendment?  The stained laundry of the past cannot be cleaned up—but we must not let it soil today!  We can do better and we must!

Clifford's Tower, York 2015

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