Monday, December 27, 2010

The Hourglass Effect


Have you ever noticed that when you stare at the sand in an hourglass as it pours from one end to the other, it doesn't appear to be making a difference? I mean, the sand is moving and the grains of sand in each end are changing, but it doesn't actually seem like it. And suddenly, you notice that the sand is pooled in the bottom of the hourglass and movement of the sand has ceased. It is completely still in the hourglass. I thought this was a great analogy for life in some cases. It starts so quickly and inevitably. It pours and pours. The bottom of the hourglass is always changing shape and form with the addition of each grain of sand. The new grains cover the old and, new ones continue to cover those as well. When you stop looking at the glass for a while, then look back, you notice it's changed. You notice the difference. And if you keep switching glances, you'll look back one time and notice that the sand has almost run out. And you'll anticipate the end of the sand. You'll hold your breath and wait for it to happen, knowing it will. Because life is the same way. It moves inevitably. You can't stop it. You can't change it. It will start and it will end. And if you take the time to notice what's going on around you, you'll find that the time won't even matter. That all you have to do is enjoy the life around you and you won't be wasting that time. But if you simply watch the time go by, you won't realize it when you have no time left. And it will be too late. I thought about that in each person's life and thought about the hourglass life of someone who commits suicide. Did they stop the sand before it had run out? I don't believe so. I think their life and it's end had been known and predetermined when it was made. The sand runs out when the life ends. The timing of all hourglasses is different. The sand in the hourglass of a 93-year-old man runs slowly, though it may be almost out. The sand in the hourglass of a newborn baby that dies shortly after birth runs quickly and ends shortly after it starts. So what do we do? Do we watch the sand fall without realizing that time is running out? Or do we take advantage of the fact that sand still falls, and that as long as their is still sand flowing, their is life left in us after all. But what is up to us alone, is what we do with it...

(Note: When I start my posts, I always start with the title. And it either helps to inspire me, or helps to add emphasis to the thoughts I'm expressing. I started this post with an image of a pouring hourglass and titled it "The Hourglass Effect". It inspired the actual post.)