As we grow older the years seem to pass more quickly, to become shorter.  Someone has expressed this phenomenon of psychological time in a striking way by saying: It’s not the    years that are long.  It’s the days.

It is also true that as we grow older we typically become more reflective. We become more aware of the fact that our existence as we experience it is a very fragile and fleeting thing that we actually hold in our hands moment by moment.

It is no good trying relive the past.  What is done is done and can never be undone.  A consoling thought in this regard is that while things done cannot be undone, they can be forgiven. It is no good, either, trying to live in the future.  Even though we must prepare for it, trying to live in the future is nothing more than day-dreaming.  What really counts, simply because it is all we actually control is the present moment.

To put that another way: all we can do while we live is to go on from where we actually find ourselves.  It is this mixture of terrifying finality and tremendous potentiality that constitutes the paradox of life in time.

Saying all we really have is the present moment is a very old idea.  There are ancient philos-ophers who had a vivid consciousness of that truth.  Not finding any better way to cope with that knowledge, they concluded a person should seize each moment as it presents itself and wrest from it the most pleasure possible with little or no reference to any values that would transcend that moment.  They were called Hedonists. Because their idea definitely has appeal, they have always had their followers.

We face the same facts as those people when we reflect on our existence.   We react, however, in a very different way.  As Christians we come to very different conclusions.
When we reflect on life, what are the really important questions we should be asking ourselves?  Negatively, they should not deal insignificant triumphs or failures we may have experienced. Nor are we to focus on petty joys or sorrows.  Someone has observed that it is analyzing our joys and our sorrows that we can the degree of our maturity.
The crucial question is where do I stand now in relation to Christ.  That is the crucial question about my identity.  Am I more closely assimilated to Christ without whom any suffering or joys are ultimately meaningless?