SPACE AND TIME

Ever since I heard about a friend of mine who wrote a whole book either on the Pennsylvania Railroad riding, or in the Pennsylvania Station sitting, I have been hurt deep down with a renewed awareness of my inadequacies. My wife points out that whereas this other man improves each shining moment, I am apt to read a paperback or take in a movie. There is something here that points up the difference between genius and the unwashed multitudes.

One of my best ways of wasting time is watching how other people waste time. You can put it down as one of life’s finalities that any man who finds time to read a bulletin board, for example, just doesn’t know what to do with his time. He stands with his hands behind him and swings back and forth on the balls of his feet. Watch the man who sits in a meeting and reads the material in the front and back of the hymnal. I have been known even to look up the name of the publisher of a hymnbook. Another loafing opportunity is to take the docket of a meeting and read it all the way through. When that man down the row reads it with great intensity, you can be sure that he is bored beyond comprehension. How much time have you spent on your date book recently, especially those lovely tables of troy weights or that list of birthstones for all twelve months! There is a special thesis to be written on the reading of memorial windows and memorial plaques.

Marney has a great sermon entitled “In the Meantime,” and the simple word is that if we do not live in the “meantime, we do not live at all,” because life is made up of “meantimes.” I suppose the only thing worse than killing time is conquering space. Time is such a marvelous gift. Space is such a lovely thing. I hate to see my time run ...

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