I saw a pretty good movie a few weeks ago, “Mary Queen of Scots.” It was about Queen Mary and her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. I was fact-checking some things about Queen Elizabeth from the Encyclopedia Britannica and I came across this statement in the article about the Queen as she came to the last days of her reign and her life. Sir Walter Raleigh observed that she was “a lady surprised by time.” That gets my attention. I think most of us, as we get older, are “surprised by time.”
According to James Boswell, on the day before Easter in 1779, the great British writer Samuel Johnson wrote these profound words in his journal: “Of resolutions I have made so many, with so little effect, that I am almost weary, but, by the help of God, am not yet hopeless. I am almost seventy years old, and have no time to lose.”
Dr. Elsworth Kalas told about the novelist Amy Bloom visiting an elderly friend who said to her, as she tapped her watch, “Look darling, from age 50 to 80 it’s not minutes, it’s seconds. Pay attention.” She then emphasized, “It’s seconds. You think you know, but you don’t.”
The letter of James in the New Testament hammers home the point: “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)
Samuel Johnson was right, we have no time to lose! Let's not be surprised by time.