Have you ever felt your mind simmering on a subject? Not like retreading, going over and over it, but new inventive thoughts that hadn’t occurred to you?
I want to challenge you to ride the imagination train with me today. So we’ve ridden the train down track “how long“, which was why I disliked the question “how long did it take you to paint that”?
My mind jumped over to track “time flow“. What in the world is that? Well, have you ever been in a place, participated in an activity, done something where you wondered, “hmm, where did the time go?”
That’s how I feel when I paint. I know not time; it doesn’t exist for me. Eating, drinking, calls, interruptions are simply an annoyance that break the primitive flow of life inside my painting experience. Painting is a bubble. I’m inside the bubble and time is outside the bubble.
Outside of the classic and overused statement, “I wish I had more time”, have you really ever thought about the fact that time is just a measurement of change? Time does not exist in and of itself. It needs something else. For instance motion is measured by time as in miles per hour. Time is used by people to keep track of things.
Time was created at creation by the Creator!
So what happens when we find ourselves totally immerse in something in which we effectively have become unconscious of time?
Time and Flow
According to Wikipedia flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does and loses sense of space and time.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read in the article, that, “Mihaly Csikszentmihályi and his fellow researchers began researching flow after Csikszentmihályi became fascinated by artists who would essentially get lost in their work. Artists, especially painters, got so immersed in their work that they would disregard their need for food, water and even sleep!”
Time and Painting
That’s exactly how I feel sometimes (not all the time). So in my prayer time I asked the Lord, “what type of picture would you paint (in human terms) to describe this feeling?” He gave me a picture of some little children making sandcastles on the beach. Now that was something I could relate to! I remember summers on the shore in Massachusetts. My aunt and mother would cover my face and shoulders with gooey suntan lotion after lunch, I’d trot down near the water and the next time I looked up, I vaguely remember someone tugging or calling me to come out of my dreamland, the day was over.
No, I don’t think time is distorted like surrealist Salvador Dali painted, though it feels that way sometimes.
I think God is giving us a little glimpse of what eternal life will feel like with Him! It’s a little bit of heaven on earth.
Have you had a snip of the eternal sensation of time standing still? If so, I’d like to hear about it.