The Sin of Wishing Time Away

At the time that I’m writing this, it’s one year, 6 months, 0 days, 15 hours, 40 minutes and 22 seconds until Donald Trump leaves office. I’m hopeful that he will leave through the democratic process of being voted out and that he will leave in a peaceful transfer of power. I say hopeful because hope is a faith-based assurance of what is unknown. I can’t know, of course, that Trump will be defeated at the polls, that the polls will accurate reflect the voter’s preferences, and that he’ll move along.

Like many of us, I’ve been counting down the days until this presidency can be over.
Not because I think we can erase it and go back to some “normal” time. I’ve never argued that Trumpism is an anomaly; indeed, it seems to me to be very much in keeping with the America that I know–or, rather, is just how we should have expected white people to act if given the chance.

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So I don’t think we want to “go back.” But I also don’t want to be here anymore, you know? Like, I’d like time to pass along a lot faster. Whatever comes next has to be better, right? Like, if I could go to sleep and wake up 1 year, 6 months, and 16 days from now, I would, even without knowing what’s ahead.

There is something theologically troubling about this wish, though.

If God is God of creation, then that includes time. And that means that I shouldn’t be wishing it away. I can’t wish time away when God has given us time as part of creation, to be appreciated and to be respected and to be cared for. 

That doesn’t mean accepting how things are, of course, or treading water while time passes. And I can’t rely on the passage of time to do the work that God calls me to be doing.

It’s a privilege to hope that the passage of time will solve our problems, something that people who are safe in their homes, protected by their wealth and their race and their gender, can wait for. Embracing time, rather than waiting it out, is the harder, holier work.


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