Time is like mercury

Time is like mercury. You can’t hold on to it and it keeps slipping away, especially at this time of the year. End of year functions, social events, Christmas shopping, Christmas baking, the usual daily tasks…

We’ve been blessed to have Lillian, Ben’s sister, visiting with us until the end of December. She’s great company to have around and incredibly helpful around the house and with the kids, which I really appreciate at the moment because I’ve come down with a kidney infection which has about halved my energy levels!

I have been reminded how often I take good health for granted. We plan our lives on the assumption that we will be well, as if that is in our control. It takes a few knocks to our usual healthy selves to realise that our health is a gift. It’s a humbling lesson that I keep learning while it seems like the days just keep on going by faster!

This morning, the hymn Hours and days and years and ages popped into my head — beautiful and comforting!

Hours and days and years and ages
swift as moving shadows flee;
as we scan life’s fleeting pages,
nothing lasting do we see.
On the paths our feet are walking,
footprints all will fade away;
each today as we enjoy it
soon becomes a yesterday.

But from sin your mercy drew us,
would not leave our souls alone.
Gracious Lord, you did renew us;
in Christ’s death we are your own.
Through the mercy of your leading,
each short step along our way
now becomes a path to guide us
to the land of endless day.

Though swift time keeps marching onward,
it will not decide our end.
You will always be our Father,
loving God, eternal Friend.
When life’s dangers overwhelm us,
you will ever be our stay;
through your Son you are our Father,
always changeless, come what may.

Speed along, then, years and ages,
with your gladness and your pain;
when our deepest sorrow rages,
God our Father will remain.
Though all friends on earth forsake us
and our troubles shall increase,
God with his right hand will take us
to our everlasting peace.

By Rhijnuis Feith, translated by Leonard P. Brink (1929)

5 thoughts on “Time is like mercury

  1. I’m glad to see you like this hymn – so do I! And I’m also glad you opted to use the newer words, so you will not be put off that the hymnal committee has chosen these! This update is done by Henrietta Ten Harmsel, 1984 – and copyright 1987 by Faith Alive Christian Resources, just in case someone is thinking of making copies…

    Yes, I too so often have taken good health for granted, even in planning toward deadlines. These days I keep reminding myself to allow extra time before deadlines because I shouldn’t assume every day will be a “well day”. And allowing extra time is not my forte.

  2. Franci, this reminds me of a verse my mother had on her dressing table mirror when I was a teenager( Not too sure about the exact words!):
    ” One by one the time steels away the good and golden years,
    leaving you with your recollections and your sovenirs;
    so that when the Winter comes,
    how bitter it may be
    you can always pluck the wayside flowers of memory”

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