I was listening to a sermon while driving the other day. The pastor was quoting from Ecclesiastes about time. It so hit home. The basic message was this: God wants us to enjoy every day of our lives.
We all live under the fallacy we have lots of time, but it’s simply not true. We are guaranteed only the moment we are in. By mid-life, most of us have learned this lesson through the unexpected death of someone we love. We swear we will live differently. We forget.
I remember hearing an interview with David Crosby years ago, and the interviewer was asking David if he had any regrets. I will never forget hearing his response. He said something to the fact that he regretted wasting so much time, being wasted so much of his life. “I just missed so many minutes because I wasn’t present.” He commented. Time, he explained, is what you want more of the older you get…more than fame, more than money, more than anything. Things that seem important early in life loose their sparkle as you see there are not endless days before you. Time. It is the one thing we all get the same of…60 minutes in an hour, 24-hours in a day, 365-days in a year. No amount of money can buy you more. Even Bill Gates can’t buy more minutes in his life.
I remember being struck by this and swearing to treat time more preciously. I still waste it. But I try to pay more attention. Once you have given a moment away to something, someone, some thought, it is gone forever. You can never get it back.
Are you treating the days of your life with too much disregard? I encourage you to re-evaluate. What will the things you are spending your hours on this week mean to you a year from now. 5 years? When you are dying? Seriously. Think about your to-do list. Is there something more important that belongs in the place of some of the others? What will you regret not devoting your time to when you have no more minutes to spend.
I once had a friend tell me I squeezed every minute out of my days. As she said it, she imitated squeezing a rag or cloth and had such tension in her face and voice. It was amazing, she said, I fit so much into my days. All I felt from her assessment was exhausted and so sad that with all my efforts to fit everything in, I wasn’t really fitting the life I wanted into those days. I took advantage of every minute of every day, to be sure, but not with the things that fed my soul, my heart, my spirit. Did I really want to SQUEEZE the life out of my minutes or to embrace them?
I highly recommend putting more priority on the things you dreamed about as a kid, the things you hope to do more of “one day.” Time on my paddle board is more important to me these days than some social engagements. I choose to skip checking in on email or social media on most weekends and book one-on-one time with my Mom, my friends, my fiancé instead. If my in-box is overflowing, so be it. I do not want to be longing for conversations never had with someone because I didn’t have time.
I highly encourage you to live all the enjoy all the days of your life.
You can’t own it, but you can use it.
You can’t keep it, but you can spend it.
Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.