Time Warp

Have you ever noticed that missionaries are weirdos?  They’re strange folk. I’m one of them and they’re weird to me. They don’t fit in where they live and they certainly don’t fit in where they came from.

Being a missionary is a funny thing. You guys realize we live in a time warp. I’m not just talking about our fashions from a bygone era. Or our tragic ignorance of pop culture.

Sure, choppy Netflix and Youtube through sketchy net service has kept us within 3 seasons of understanding what’s going on, but we’re still out of the loop. However, being a chump at the water cooler or lunch table isn’t what I’m talking about.

tardisI’m talking about accelerated aging. And, don’t start yapping about Doctor Who. I’ve watched the latest episodes and he doesn’t address missionaries in season five.  

(indistinct whispering in the background)

Ok, well, he doesn’t mention missionaries in season six or seven either, from what I’m told. Anyway…

For missionaries, people age two, three, sometimes four years at a time. It’s not isolated either. It’s every man, woman and child in our sphere. For instance, let’s say my family comes to present at your church. Afterwards we go to lunch. The next time we see you you’re bald or decrepit or both. It was just yesterday.

Well, it seemed like yesterday.

I mean, I see you everyday on Facebook. I’ve been keeping up with you on social media. What happened?

Bam! From out of nowhere two years exploded all over your face and hair.

We moved to Paraguay in 2008. In 2010 we went back for a short furlough. This was our first experience with this phenomenon. It was odd to see how time had taken it’s vengeance out on so many. Then I realized…

It happened to us, too.

I could literally feel the “OH. EM. GEE. He got old and gray fast” filtering through the air while reconnecting with friends. It confused me at first because that was exactly what I was thinking about them.

I was so shaken by this anomaly that I studied to understand it. I found it to be a very common occurrence. When time acceleration happens at a pace of a year or more we seem to be disturbed by it. But, when we let minutes or hours or even weeks escape our grasp, it doesn’t seem to affect us as much.

While this may not be as dramatic in terms of getting “things” done it can be devastating when relating to people. This is not a procrastination post. It is an engagement post. A community post.

I’ve found time and opportunity is escaping us all at an alarming rate. I encourage us to lasso it in whatever way we can for the cause of Christ.

Have you fallen victim to accelerated aging? Have you seen season six and seven of Doctor Who? Does he mention missionaries? Has time slipped from your grasp before?

6 thoughts on “Time Warp

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  1. I agree with Eileen–I think it is the result of having kids. For instance, did you realize that it is already almost MAY? Wasn’t it January yesterday? It seems as if just six months ago, I brought home my first little bundle of joy from the hospital and now she will be entering high school and eligible to drive in TWO years. It’s like I have started living in dog years or something.

    As far as TV, we are still in season 4 of “Lost”, mainly because we wanted to keep up with “Fringe” (and by keeping up, I mean that we are only a partial season behind). Too much to do and quite frankly, I would rather play “Conquest of the Empire” with my kids.


    1. I hear ya, Kris. One of mine is looking at college or a mission journey in less less than a year. The other is only two years behind her. Both could be driving if it weren’t for the 18 age limit here.

      I’m down with a family game time too.


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