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It's About Time

Updated: Jan 15

One year, Vessels of GOLD and the parallel studio group put together a show about “Time.” It was pretty hard work and stressful, but included some great ideas. This year, Vessels Vault is revisiting the show and putting their own personalities and thoughts into it. The show opens with, “Does Anybody Really Know what Time it is?” (Our show orders always said “DARK.”)

Time is one of those things we call “precious” because we feel we don't have enough of it. We waste it, save it, spend it, use it, find it, make it, eat it, savor it, and take the time to think of our own phrases. We’re pressed for time but we always pursue more of it! To our last day, we try to figure out how to make the most of what has been given to us - and time is at the top of that list.

To some, it is so precious that we refuse to be rushed. “If I’m late, I’m late, but I’m going to enjoy this moment.” To others, life is always a rush and we’re always in too much of a hurry to stop and smell the roses - or the home-cooked meal, or the petrichor after an afternoon rain. Most of us are somewhere in between - trying to balance by stopping for a moment, taking a picture, or a breath, or a listen - and then rushing on.

Where is the balance? I think it’s not to be had. The Lord has given us an earth full of beauty and creativity and opportunities and frustration and pain and abundance and need and stopping and starting. If we just didn’t have to sleep - but what a blessing it is to get a “restart” each and every day, and not just when the calendar changes. We lean to one side and then the other and maybe for just a small moment we think we have found that balance and then something pushes us one way or another and there we go trying to stay on the tightrope of life.

At TU, we are often driven by the calendar and the clock. We must plan ahead, but leave room for the spontaneous opportunities that will undoubtedly surprise us along the way. We plan a show, but leave room for a great improv moment that leaves a lasting impression. We plan a camp, knowing that what we achieve in that week will include bits of each individual the Lord has thrown in together at that particular time.

Where am I going? Around and around, looking from all angles. The importance of time, the importance of people. In our rehearsals, we don’t present a script that everyone can learn on their own and walk in to perform. It’s the collaboration and the cooperation and the unique qualities of each cast member that turns out a creative, never-to-be repeated “product” shared with a one-of-a-kind/one-at-a-time audience. The individuals with their own circumstances walk through the door and give their time to influence and be influenced by all those around.

Time together is important, so being present is important, so being on time is important. Are there exceptions? Always. We worked through a pandemic shutdown. It was different. Hopefully not an experience to ever be repeated, but a time to be creative nonetheless. Even that required being “there” and on time. The other day we spent TWO hours going from the studio, and then back past the studio to go east in order to go south in order to go west to get home. Things happen. In that case, someone actually died at the daily-passed Country Walk intersection. Be careful out there. One morning I was rear-ended and missed an entire rehearsal. More recently I broke my scalp and missed a rehearsal. Things happen that disrupt our plans and our “time.” But not every day. Not every week. We can live in this crowded city and make good use of the time given to us.

We know that the GPS can only estimate travel time, but never accounts for the wreck or the real effects of construction in the calculation. “But I don’t want to get there too early.” Why not? Get there early and then take some quiet moments - inside or outside. Coffee, an audio book, a conversation, a song - things that might not happen if it’s just “run to the car, bring your breakfast, get dressed along the way, have a hurried conversation, get out quick - RUN!!! You’re late! I’ll order you some food.”

Why not, hey, if we get there early, we’ll go together and pick out some good food at the grocery store, and have a little breakfast while we’re at it? Why not pretend that you need to be everywhere ½ hour before you really need to be there? We think that half hour of sleep will make the difference. Maybe. Maybe not. Did you not get enough sleep because of sickness, worry, a critical conversation? Maybe. Was it watching one more in a binge or maybe a “quick check” of your social media? (Is anyone able to do a “quick check” and does it lead to a restful sleep?) Build in some padding and enjoy the extra time - when you get it - as an unexpected gift to yourself, your family, our Holy Friend. Then when the real unexpected happens - well, you still get to be there (usually) and give and receive the time together.

Does anybody really know what time it is? Time to make the most of the time that’s been given to us.

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