What really, really ticks you off? I mean, what really gets under your skin?
Is it the guy who cuts you off in traffic? I just realized, with the threat of a snow storm here tomorrow, that I actually get angry at the weather for slowing down the progression of my plans for the week.
Does the repairman who wants a 10 hour window of time for his appointment drive you nuts?
How about waiting in the only open checkout line while five bored-looking employees saunter outside for a smoke break?
Now you will have noticed that nothing throws [a human] into a passion so easily as to find a tract of time which he reckoned on having at his own disposal unexpectedly taken from him. [It] anger[s] him because he regards his time as his own and feels that it is being stolen.
It occurs to me that perhaps the most common and pervasive lie among men is that we honestly believe our time is our own.
The man can neither make, nor retain, one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift; he might as well regard the sun and moon as his chattels.
Guilty as charged.
Not only is this a prolific lie, but at Predatory Lies, the goal is to, “uncover the lies that destroy our lives.” Is this lie all that destructive, really?
It doesn’t seem like it. I mean, we might stress less if we actually understood that all of our striving and fretting and hurrying accomplishes nothing.
We might present the Gospel more winsomely if we weren’t thinking about how the person’s question really came at a bad time.
We might not mourn over death as much as we do if we believed that our time is not our own and that what time we do have is a gift from a benevolent Father, from whom all good gifts come. (James 1:17)
The misconception that time is our own leeches the joy, value and posterity from our lives. “Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
All quoted wisdom in this article, aside from Scripture, is courtesy of C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters.The Screwtape Letters.