I'm guessing you might not know about TPAD. It's a unique condition that I first learned about from Dana K White, who blogs at ASlobComesClean.com. She has this condition, and after she described it, I began to wonder if I do too. Or at least a touch of it. Maybe in fact, we all have a touch of it.
TPAD, according to Dana K. White, stands for "Time Passage Awareness Disorder". In case you're wondering, it's a totally made up condition, not something anyone could actually be diagnosed with by any kind of medical professional. The basic idea is that it's when a person struggles to have a keen sense of how much time a certain task or set of tasks is going to take. They grossly underestimate or overestimate the length of time it will take to do something. Either way, this condition can make things difficult at times.
For example, if you think it's going to take you 10 minutes to put together that new bookshelf, you might decide to just quickly make that happen right before you start to make dinner. Then two hours later, when your whole family is grumpy and hungry, you might be in a bit of trouble if you are still only on step 7 of 22 and have no idea what you're making for supper.
My husband and I have humbly accepted the fact that both of us at times experience TPAD. We will often jokingly say to each other, "time passage awareness!" when one or both of us is operating with what seems like a rather skewed perspective on how much time is passing.
In our case, we most often simply think we can fit quite a lot more into a period of time than is actually feasible. I know I am supposed to take the kids to that birthday party in a half an hour but I should totally be able to pick up the groceries, drop off the stuff at the thrift shop, and mail those packages at the post office all before I shop for the birthday presents with the kids on the way to the party, right?!? Time Passage Awareness!
Time is tricky, though, isn't it? Wouldn't it be crazy to not worry about time at all? To never again struggle with knowing how much or little time something is going to take? How vastly different life would feel if none of us ever had TPAD.
As humans, it's probably impossible for us to ever fully be free from the constraints of time. But it seems like maybe God operates in relation to time very differently than we do. In 2 Peter 3, the writer reminds us, "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." I can't even quite imagine that. Clearly God's way of managing time is nothing like ours.
I suppose there are times when a day might feel like a thousand years. (You know, those kinds of days that you feel like are never going to end!) But somehow I don't think that's how it is for God. I guess I try to imagine what it would feel like if I just literally never worried about time. Like not at all. In any way. Maybe something will take a really long time, maybe it won't. But I'm okay either way. Wouldn't that be amazing?
I imagine maybe that's a little bit what it's like for God. Except of course that He does actually know how long something will take. I guess that's why, when we pray, we can breathe a big sigh of relief because God isn't worried about time like we are. He's not early, He's not late, He probably doesn't even think about being "on time" the way we do. He just IS.
I'm not saying that we should necessarily try to forget time entirely. Somehow it seems like God created time as kind of a boundary for us to live within. But perhaps part of what can happen when we pray is that we can remember that our God is bigger than time. Whatever time-related thing is stressing you out right now, it's not stressing God out. He knows all about it and He's asking you to trust Him in the midst of it.
As we continue to do our best to manage the time we've been given, and as most likely we continue to struggle with TPAD in our own ways, may we find great comfort and peace in knowing that God has the wisdom we need. May we just pause sometimes and marvel at how our God is not bound by time. Even when we feel like we've handled time poorly, He gives grace abundantly. Let's keep looking to our heavenly Father as we simply take one step at a time.
Pray with me...
... Lord, for all of our students and teachers who are likely feeling the crunch of time as they near the end of the semester, please strengthen and comfort them
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
.... God, grant each person in the ACSD community a strong faith and trust in You
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 ... Father, may Your Kingdom be built up in and through our schools according to Your timing
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10
Above: Slideshow of just a few of the many pieces of art available at the ACSD Art Auction happening right now. While there may have been some cases of TPAD throughout the process of preparing these pieces, I am very thankful for all of the people who gave a lot of time to create them!
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly on Wednesdays throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory