I’m a sucker for a time-travel story. It doesn’t even have to be a great story. I’m pretty adept at suspending my disbelief and getting swept up in a wacky plot. I’m not entirely sure why the concept of time travel enchants me, but I think it’s about time I sorted it out.
It comes down to possibility, I think. Or love. Or both.
Time is possibility. And…time doesn’t exist. Even though it doesn’t exist, the illusion of it doesn’t eliminate or thwart what is possible. Time expands and contracts according to how we feel, what we’re doing, and what we need to get done. Time is a gift from God, and as such, it is a good concept. But we (human beings in general) often fall short of using our time wisely.
Like misers, we hoard our time, giving freely of it only to those we love (or those we want to love us), or to those who pay for it – while denying it to those who cannot pay, or those we don’t think are worthy of our patience. And yet, the Bible teaches us something different. Here’s a simple example. Paul says in I Corinthians 13:4 that “Love is patient, love is kind..” How many of us ever think of those statements the other way around? Patience is love. Kindness is love.
Patience is love. Or, to put it another way: Time is love.
How many times have you said, or heard someone say to you, “I don’t have the patience for that?” Or – the dreaded, “I don’t have time for that.” What if you – or they – said, “I don’t love enough for that,” or, “I won’t give my love for that.” Ouch. What a harsh statement.
The worst thing about time is that when we waste it, or give it begrudgingly without love, we are left weary and wanting. Wanting more time.
But when we give freely of our time, of our love, it energizes us, it expands us. We broaden our horizons, stretch our hearts and minds into the possibility that time offers. Time given with love is never wasted.
Time is possibility, given through patience, and patience is love. Time is important only for the possibilities it holds, and the love it shows.
I often say that quilts are gifts of love. Quilts take patience and time. When both are given freely, a quilter creates an object that demonstrates love.
Quilting as a business, then, makes for an interesting conundrum – a time paradox, if you will. When I first started “quilting for dollars,” I read a lot of business advice. Several sources stated that in order to run a “proper business” I would need to reconsider my time. How long does it take me to finish a quilt? How many quilts can I do in a week? What does that translate to in dollars-per-hour? Am I meeting my business goal? Am I charging customers for every-little-thing I do? If I don’t, surely, I am undervaluing myself. My time.
My time is only mine because it was freely given to me by God. Who am I to clutch it to my breast, hoarding it for myself? Wasn’t I put here, weren’t we all put here, to do God’s will? Yes. And so, my time is His. I’m pretty sure He is not worrying about my wage per-hour.
My time is valuable. It is my gift to give, as freely as it is given to me.
This is why I spent the last week making a quilt for a friend of mine. She asked about a quilt that she could give as a Christmas gift to a little boy she knew. The first thing I thought was, ” I don’t have enough time.” But I didn’t say no. I thought about it some more. Then I said no. Sadly, I actually said it, out loud: “I don’t have enough time.”
Then – after thinking my big thinks, stated above – I changed my mind. I made time. You see, when we decide to give our time to someone else, freely and genuinely, with love and good intentions, time expands. We make time. I stretched into the possibility that the gift offered. A few times, I had to remind myself to slow down. I didn’t want to do a “rush” job on the quilt. A gift of patience, of time, should be thoughtfully put together. I did choose a simple design due to time constraints, but I think it is a very fitting gift for a six-year-old boy.
I chose a play mat print for the quilt, which had lots of lively construction machines and houses on it, and a road. The idea is that a child could lay the quilt in the floor and drive cars all over it – or snuggle under it. What a neat concept! One stretch of play mat print cloth, and some wide borders made a quick quilt top. Then, it was time for the fun! I custom-quilted it, so I could outline the road, some of the diggers and…I did a super-fun border of houses, buildings, cars, trees. It’s a little city. Oh, my goodness, I cannot tell you how much fun it was to do the border! So cute, and so easy – if you quilt, you must try it sometime. (See Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt, and her books for inspiration.) The back of the quilt is even cooler looking than the front! (a little hard to capture an image, though, with the solid color.)
This quilt was easily, hands-down, the most fun I have had quilting all year. Which perfectly illustrates my point: patience is time, time is love. Take time to be patient with someone today. Freely give your time, your love, to them. Time given with love is never wasted.
I hope I never say that sentence, “I don’t have time,” ever again. Because I have all the time in the world. God always gives us just enough time, and going forward, I will trust that.
About time. 😊