Both were well after bedtime and both seemed to walk as though they knew where they were going. Both seemed to be on autopilot, doing something they had done many times before. But they did so with little expression and little recognition of interacting with others. Sleepwalking interests me. Is it like dreaming in that we do it even if we do not remember doing it?
There was a 1959 hit, "Sleep Walk," on steel guitar and guitar with a rather peaceful if whiney tune that I associate with the subject. It hit number one on Billboard and was a gold record, back when they had records. The piece's longevity in the hands of an impressive guitarist earned Brian Setzer a grammy on an album in 1998, and it is still played today. Pretty amazing for a little tune with no words...over fifty years and counting...*
And it is the counting part that brings this topic to mind. I am learning each day how to value time and to invest in what is important - in people, in relationships, by doing an honest job in exchange for confidence placed in me, in working together for the kingdom of God in ways big and small, among others. I understand that in our English language we have one word for time viewed chronologically and in measureable units. This approach seems normal and necessary for us, and we do not typically question it. Other languages vary. German has another word, DER TAG, an expression for a specifically appointed time calling for a decision.
In Greek, as my friend, Connie, said yesterday, there are at least two words for time: KRONOS (the measureable calculation of time) and KAIROS (the quality of time - not quantity - or 'God time', as some say). Kairos refers to the moment in between the moments, as I see it. It can be that in-between condition that happens while we are doing something else. Kairos also refers to a broader way of seeing 'the times', but is not about viewing time sequentially - that would be kronos, from which we get our word 'chronological.'
It is in experiencing life in both dimensions - living within the chronological passing of time as well as participating in Kairos time where we glimpse the moving of God in our midst - where we find ourselves. As Christians, we live in both the temporal and the eternal reality. It is one of life's mysteries and one I am contemplating, but just brush the subject here.
The point I hear clearly is: Do not just sleepwalk through life. Do not move mechanically through the motions of this precious gift we have of LIFE and TIME. Let God bless our time and our times with God's Presence, and let us live into our time fully and meaningfully!
"So teach us to number our days that we may apply a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12
*Because you asked: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z7lgxReWgw&feature=related for a piece of the original, though shown here on 78 rpm vinyl.
Memory Lane Note for the ipod owner viewer: That machine playing the record is about the size of a chest of drawers. It held dozens of vinyl records and mechanically lifted and played each one in sequence after users inserted a coin (3 for a quarter?) and pressed the button (such as A-3 or J-5) corresponding to the location of the desired track. This one was a little before 'my time'. I never saw a 78 Wurlitzer, only 45 record players, commonly called a juke box since these things were not in homes, but in commercial establishments or 'juke joints', or in my childhood, in The Spin-a-Cone in Monticello. There. Cultural history and devotional thought in one entry!
In 1988, on Garrison Keilor's show, Chet Atkins and Leo Kottke play Sleep Walk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5oExc78IKE&feature=related.
And plenty of options in the 21st century with Joe Satriani and Brian Setzer. Here's one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c8nanTCPz0&feature=related. Just a few seconds will yield a recognizable version of the simple 50's theme.
That's a long way from a 1959 vinyl record to your personal phone or laptop. Amazing the times we live in!