I’ve been thinking a great deal recently about time. That’s because within this one week alone our daughter turns 27, our son turns 24, and my wife turns…um…well…she’ll always be three years older than I am. Time is something that can never be replaced. Like the old hymn says, it’s “an ever-rolling stream.” That’s why it’s so incredibly important to make the most of it.
Time is such a precious commodity. In fact, it’s more precious than any money, any possession, any home, or any thing other than people. When it’s gone it can’t be earned back. When it’s gone it cannot be regained. When the second hand goes around the clock it will never ever be that very moment again. It’s so precious because once it slips away, it slips away, and it can never be retrieved again.
It seems like just yesterday I held our kids in my arms and now one is married and the other is engaged. They are able to live their lives without relying on me (well…mostly). They are adults who have jobs, lives, loves, and interests that sometimes mirror mine and other times make me wonder from where they came. Just this morning I held a newborn baby in my arms and reminded the parents to enjoy every moment because before they know it that little bundle of joy will be married and having kids of her own.
It’s certainly not my intent to depress you. In fact, there’s a great deal of hope when it comes to this special gift. Time is precious for a reason.
Here are four hopeful things to do with time:
- Value it. Show yourself and others that time is greater than gold. Don’t waste it. At least once in a while, turn off the TV; shut down Facebook; forget binge watching the latest Netflix series. Instead do something productive and valuable: read a book; make some art; have a conversation; call an old friend; send a handwritten note in the mail; learn something new.
- Celebrate it. At the end of each day throw a little party in your head and say a prayer thanking the Author of time that He has given you another day. It’s a precious gift. Do the same in the morning when you wake up. The night of rest that just passed was also given as a gift. As one child said, “I love sleeping; it’s like a time machine that takes me straight to breakfast.”
- Utilize it. In order to really utilize it you need to do something that will stretch you. Use the time you’re given to do something you’ve always wanted to do. I learned this lesson last year as I wrote the first draft of my book. It had been a lifelong goal of mine to do so. I have accomplished it. I admit that I didn’t always utilize time in the best possible way because I probably could have finished the first draft in a far shorter period of time than I did. But I proved to myself that when minutes, hours, and days are utilized well extraordinary things can happen.
- Make the most of it. The best way to make the most of it is to spend it (…do you notice that we use the word “spend” when we talk about using time? It really is a precious commodity…) with those you love the most. That’s why I have always appreciated my friend, Brian’s, advice when he says it’s better to spend money on experiences than on things. Stuff breaks, fades away, and becomes less valuable as we move into the future. On the other hand, we will always remember most the precious experiences we have with those we love: eating dinner at a candlelit restaurant; riding bikes on an unknown trail; traveling overseas; watching the sun set on Annamaria Island; exploring a city.
Birthdays are a great time to appreciate the value of the most precious gift of time. Give them the celebration they deserve. They are a reminder of the fullness of time for one specific person up to that very moment. As the birthday person blows out the candles, make a little promise to yourself that you will value, celebrate, utilize, and make the most of time.
What ideas do you have for making the most of time?