All spiritualities touch on time, for time is as pervasive as spirituality. A less than five-century-old Native American tale tells of this connection. A connection to living in the moment and “to be here now”. That if we let it; time will control us and steal our moments.
Long ago, the People had no light. It was hard for them to move around in the darkness and they were always cold. Mink took pity on them. He heard that on the other side of the world there was something called the Sun. Those on the other side of the world were keeping it there. So Mink decided to steal the Sun for the People. It was not an easy job, but Mink was a great thief. He stole the Sun and placed it in the sky so that it would share its light equally with the People on both sides of the world. Now it was no longer dark and cold all the time. Now there was day and night because of the Sun. The People were very happy and they praised Mink. He grew proud of himself because of that praise.
“Perhaps,” he said, “there is something else I can steal for the People.”
A long time passed and Mink saw nothing that was worth stealing. Then the Europeans came. They were new people with a lot of power.
“What is it that these new people have that we do not have?” Mink said.
Then he saw what it was. The Europeans had something they called Time. They used it to give them their power. So Mink decided he would steal Time. He waited until it was dark and sneaked into their house. There, in the biggest room, they kept Time up on a shelf. They kept it in a shiny box, which made noises. As it made noises, two small arrows on the front of that box moved in circles. Mink could see it was a powerful thing. So he carried it off.
Now Mink and the People had Time. But Mink soon found that it was not easy to have Time. He had to watch the hands of that shiny box all the time to see what the time was. He had to keep three keys tied around his neck so that he could use them to wind up that box full of time so it would keep on ticking. Now that Mink had Time, he no longer had the time to do the things he used to do. There was no time for him to fish and hunt as he had done before. He had to get up at a certain time and go to bed at a certain time. He had to go to meetings and work when the box full of Time told him it was time. He and his people were no longer free.
Because Mink stole Time, it now owned him and the People. It has been that way ever since then. Time owns us the way we used to own the Sun.
There is a message here that I think applies to people generally. For me it is that I sought POWER. I sought it in every relationship I had: family, friends, co-workers or employees, business associates, and women, especially women. There wasn’t a relationship I had with any woman who wasn’t about me having the POWER. Our dating, where we went, who we befriended, how much sex we had and when, money and how it was spent. This is not to say that I always got my way but I always sought to have THE POWER.
That seeking kept me from being in the moment and not letting time control me. As long as I thought the way I did I couldn’t enjoy the time I was spending with others because I was too concerned with MY POWER.
The story reminds me that seeking power also robs me of enjoying what time I have with other people.
In recovery I learned that to don’t have that kind of control and being obsessive of power and time robs me of a quality of life that my Higher Power wants me to have. Real recovery is awareness and letting go.