Time As a Relative Concept

Dear ITEM Next Gen Ministry Partners,

For years I have been preparing for the ministry of apologetics I am now focused on. One of the current issues is whether or not truth is absolute or relative, objective or subjective. Can truth be split between two people as in “that is your truth, this is my truth?” We’ll after this week it seems to me that the idea of time is subjective not objective. Or “What is five minutes to you is not five minutes to me.” Or, “You have your five minutes and I have my five minutes.” Let me explain. At different times this week as Ebenezer was calling cab drivers and more than once he was told the driver would be there “in about 5 minutes.” In all cases is was at least 15, maybe 20 before the driver got there. The drive wasn’t lying. He was telling “his truth” about what 5 minutes means. What about today?

There were two events on my calendar today. An apologetics seminar from 10. 12noon followed by an event at a church at least 90 minutes from the seminar venue. The flyer announcing the seminar said the start time was 10AM Prompt! Ebenezer was to speak first. Then I was to speak, then Q&A, and then we would leave (by noon) to be at our next venue before 2pm.  Here is how it came down.

The first venue was only a few blocks from my hotel so we left shortly past 9:30 and got to the venue early. The official start time was 10AM but there was no attendees at 10AM. So we waited……. And waited. I kept looking at the clock, thinking, “Our next event is 2pm. It is almost 11. We haven’t started and we are supposed to leave as early as noon and two of us need to speak before we leave.” I asked Ebenezer about the timing and he said, “We need to leave between 12-12:30.” Now it was 12:30PM departure at the latest.

He finished at 11:35 and introduced me. I spoke until 12:30 and I thought, “We need to leave.” Then Ebenezer asked if there were questions. That session went on and on and on. The others who were involved in leading the seminar kept saying “Ebenezer, you and Steve need to leave and Jesse (a third lecturer who was to start at 12, noon) still has his lecture to give and we are past 12noon already.” But Ebenezer continued to take questions. By the time we finally finished, it was almost 1:30 and the venue for the second event was (supposedly) 1.5-2 hours away. But was that an objective time or a subjective time? Absolute or relative?

Apply the principle: “It may be 90 minutes for you but it isn’t 90 minutes for me.” “You have you definition of 90. I have my definition of 90.” We jumped in a car close to 1:30 and headed towards the second venue of the day. I was thinking, “Well, we definitely are going to start late. Welcome to Africa.’

Well, guess what? We got there before 2PM. It was less than 30 minutes to the second venue, not 1.5 or 2 hrs. And another “guess what?” There were only 2 attendees there when we arrived. So, more waiting followed. After the obligatory time of singing, I was introduced about PM and was told to finish 3:40PM, leaving time for questions. But then there were questions and that took us past the stop time of 4pm. But stop times, like start times are relative as well.

I think you get the picture. This entire week has been, “Hurry so we aren’t late. “ Only to show up and be the first to be at the location. HURRY and WAIT.

I’ll stop here. It is 10:30pm right now and I’m getting tired. I’ll list some of the other questions I’ve been asked before heading to the airport for a Sunday night redeye to Amsterdam.

I’m putting a few more pictures into the album. CLICK HERE to see them.

Thanks for praying.

By His grace,



ITEM Next Gen Ministry