On Easter Sunday I always rejoice at the sight of the breakfast table, those delicately painted hollow eggs hanging from Easter branches and the kids’ cheerful excitement as they keep adding chocolate eggs, colourful eggs and chocolate bunnies discovered in hidden places… The role of the bunny in the Easter festivity is not really clear. As to the Easter eggs, they originally represented stones, cold and lifeless, giving way to new life, just like Jesus Christ conquered death on Easter Sunday and brought eternal life.
It makes a lot of sense for Easter ‘stone-eggs’ to be associated with eternity. Have you ever stood on top of the Eyers Rock, the biggest stone on earth, have you been to Mount Sinai, on a mountain peak or in an ancient church built of stone blocks? I don’t know about you, but when I am in one of those places, surrounded by solid rock, I actually experience eternity! Things acquire a different dimension, my worries come to be like tiny little splashes diluted in the infinity of time, even my life, my generation or the present civilisation become insignificant compared with the millions of years those rocks have existed. From this perspective the importance and urgency of things becomes relative and for a moment I experience relief and inner silence.
After returning home from those trips the inner peace inevitably fades away. In ‘real life’ time is money, it has become a commodity to be used efficiently in order to make a living. This notion clashes with the great human conflict of being aware of our own finiteness. We tend to avoid this bitter awareness by keeping ourselves busy planning, performing and maximising our achievements. Being busy has come to socially determine our value. We squeeze more activities and obligations into our day than we have time for. The more we do so, the more we reinforce awareness of our time limitation. As a result anxiety predominates most of our day and even our nights. Time has become our enemy, something that is permanently against us, pressing and suffocating us.
It is time to incorporate the meaning of the Easter egg into our lives, that stable quality of eternity! Besides its Christian meaning about resurrection, on a daily basis I understand the Easter message as a reminder not to focus on the egg’s stonily appearance, but to see beyond and remember its life bearing quality. It reminds us to transcend our struggle about time limitations and focus on our experience of being alive. This happens in the present moment. The present transcends time and acquires an eternal dimension. Thus that timeless experience in rocky environments – we experience that time is on our side.
We exist in time, which means that as long as we exist, we have time. We exist in the present time. The second just after this one is already past and we can no longer change it. The next second to come is still an unlimited choice of possibilities which we are still in time to make the best of. So next time we feel at unease with our busy lives, let’s remember the Easter egg and remind ourselves that our time is not a commodity we have to use efficiently. Let’s go beyond the ‘thing’ we are doing, remember who or what we are doing it for and fully live the moment transcending our unease with a stable sense of purpose. This doesn’t change the things we have to do. The difference is that we experience them in the present, and this in itself is the greatest gratification – living with time, not racing against it! Time is always on our side, we each decide moment by moment.