I’m way too busy! If only I had time! I simply just don’t have the time! There’s not enough hours in the day! AND FINALLY – Where did the time go?
Are these statements or thoughts you often say or feel? I’m guessing for nearly all of us, that is an emphatic – YES!!! We get so involved in so many things and we feel we must accomplish a plethora of achievements, that we seldom allow time for all of those whom we love, the true important things in life, and most importantly for ourselves and for God. My father used to tell me; “Time will go by, whether you do something with it, or not!” I think what he was trying to convey to me, this young immature wanna-be adult, was that it was what I did with my time that mattered, and not the excuses that I didn’t have time.
In fact, Moses tells us in a prayer to God; written in Psalm 90:12; “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Moses was conveying to his people, through this prayer to God, that we all need to realize time is short so it would help us to use the little time we have more wisely and for eternal good. The message was, and still is, to take time to number our days by asking ourselves; “What do I want to see happen in my life before I die? What small step could I take toward that purpose today?” Because as I wrote a few weeks ago in Death Consuming Thoughts, death will come, and it will come far sooner than you expect or think.
In the past ten days, my wife and I have experienced three deaths to family and friends, and a very traumatic event to one of our children and grandchildren. When things like this happen, it always conjures up thoughts of legacies, regrets, past encounters, family challenges and family fun, and the inevitable feelings of - what if!
At one of these funerals, which we attended, the pastor made a strong emphasis about a man who’s most valuable possession was a watch, because it represented the time he spent with loved ones. Have you spent a sufficient amount of time with your loved ones? Or has time gone by, and you didn’t have the time to spend with those you love?
Time is free to us all, but we cannot buy or sell time. In our lives, time is like a running river - it goes constantly ahead, but never runs back. We can recover the money spent or lost, as we move forward like this river, but we can never go backwards and recover the lost time.
Marc Levy, a famous French novelist, has several comments on our use of time which I find quite valuable – here are a few:
How to realize the value of time?
“If you want to know the value of one year, just ask a student who failed a course.
If you want to know the value of one month, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
If you want to know the value of one hour, ask the lovers waiting to meet.
If you want to know the value of one minute, ask the person who just missed the bus.
If you want to know the value of one second, ask the person who just escaped death in a car accident.
And if you want to know the value of one-hundredth of a second, ask the athlete who won a silver medal in the Olympics.”
Levy also has the following quotes which should help us all appreciate the true and precious use of time (for context, there are 86,400 seconds in each 24 hour day):
“Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course?
Each of us has such a bank, its name is time. Every morning, it credits you 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off at a lost, whatever of this you failed to invest to a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against “tomorrow”. You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and health. The clock is running. Make the most of today.”
“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”
To do something better in life, we need to understand, AND EMBRACE, the meaning and value of time. We need to set goals, we need to make only truly important and proper commitments, and then dedicate ourselves to the full, and proper, use of our time. This proper use of time will end up giving us wealth, prosperity and happiness. Always keep in mind that time is precious and we must make use of our time wisely. If we use time properly, that will help us achieve success in our life.
As the Christmas season kicks into high gear and we're surrounded by gorgeously decorated fir trees and songs of yuletide gay, it's easy to forget that the holidays represent a grim time in terms of health statistics. You're more likely to die of natural causes from Dec. 25 through New Year's Day than at any other time of the year. This is a fact. It has been proven it is not the cold, it is this season. There are many theories why, but I look past the theories to the potential regret, lost loved ones, and what-ifs that inevitably work their way into our hearts and minds. All of these doubts, questions, and wonderings come from whether or not we used our time effectively and most important, wisely.
I leave you with two very different approaches to this topic but both very wise in their meaning. The first comes from the brother of Jesus Himself, James. James’s life work was to convey to all that faith is more important than deeds. And that true faith will lead to all the deeds anyone would ever need.
Secondly, I leave you with the words from a hit Christian song written by Matthew West, Ran Jackson, Aj Pruis, and Lathan Warlick. In this song, artist singers Matthew West and Lathan Warlick brilliantly, and quite joyously, convey a broad spectrum of issues around the end of life and having the feeling, or having to say “What If.”
God Bless you all and please use and value your time preciously – because precious is exactly what it is!!!
Jesus worldly brother James writes in James 4:14; “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”
Lyrics from the song What If:
"What If" I've heard 'em say before to live just like you're dying, yeah Wish I could say that's how I am but I been lying, yeah Lying in my bed at night, and one too many times I'm thinking What if, what if My biggest fear is waking up to find what matters Is miles away from what I spent my life chasing after Is my story gonna have the same two words in every chapter? What if, what if But last I checked this heart Inside my chest is still beating Well, I guess it's not too late What if today's the only day I got? I don't wanna waste it if it's my last shot No regrets in the end I wanna know I got no what ifs I'm running till the road runs out I'm lighting it up right here right now No regrets in the end I wanna know I got no what ifs, yeah See, I refuse to be a shoulda woulda coulda been I can't go back in time, I don't have a DeLorean What I'm trying to say is I don't wanna say these words again What if, what if But last I checked this heart Inside my chest is still beating Well, I guess it's not too late, no no What if today's the only day I got? I don't wanna waste it if it's my last shot No regrets in the end I wanna know I got no what ifs I'm running till the road runs out I'm lighting it up right here right now No regrets in the end I wanna know I got no what ifs I'm gonna dream a little bigger Burn a little brighter Stand a little taller, closer to your fire Dig a little deeper Reach a little further Love a little harder I'm gonna dream a little bigger Burn a little brighter Stand a little taller, closer to your fire Dig a little deeper Reach a little further Love a little harder 'Cause what if today's the only day I got? I don't wanna waste it if it's my last shot No regrets in the end I wanna know I got no what ifs I'm running till the road runs out I'm lighting it up right here right now No regrets in the end I wanna know I got no what ifs, yeah I wanna know I got no what ifs I wanna know I got no what ifs