What comes to mind when you hear that word? I know that for me what comes to mind depends on my circumstances. If I have work that needs to get done then I am generally calculating how I’m going to manage my time; if I am on vacation then I am looking for ways to lengthen time; if I am anticipating an event then I am hoping that time passes quickly. For those of us who are retired, time seems to take on a whole new meaning. I confess that I never gave much thought to the ways that time would shape my life in retirement.
I am finding that my view and thoughts on time are undergoing a subtle, or perhaps a not so subtle, shift. While time still affects me in the usual ways I am finding that I am enjoying the ‘moments’ of time much more. I am relishing ‘moments’ spent just sitting in the swing watching the water fowl and letting the beauty of my surroundings just seep in; I relish the ‘moments’ that I spend in devotions–no hurry to get to the office; I relish the ‘moments’ in my work room taking all the time I want on a project; I relish the ‘moments’ in front of the TV in the evenings with Don ( I also relish the ‘moments’ we spend together as each of us is buried in a book, an iPad, a puzzle book, etc.)
As I have pondered this thing called time, I was curious about how it would be defined. An interesting exercise. I like the Oxford Dictionary definition best: “Time, the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.”
As I look back I can see just how fragmented my life was because I segmented it into passages of time. Perhaps thats just natural and an inescapable impossibility. But wouldn’t it be nice to become more aware of the moments of life as we walk through it rather than almost constantly working toward the next thing? Maybe like Don Quijote I am tilting at windmills but I do know that all of us need to be more aware of our moments and that we would do well to spend our time more wisely in the ‘moments’ and squander it less.
A few years ago I came across this reading and share it with you. It helps to put time into perspective.
Take time to think; it is the source of power.
Take time to read; it is the foundation of wisdom.
Take time to play; it is the secret of staying young.
Take time to be quiet; it is the opportunity to seek God.
Take time to be aware; it is the opportunity to help others.
Take time to love and be loved; it is God’s greatest gift.
Take time to laugh; it is the music of the soul.
Take time to be friendly; it is the road to happiness.
Take time to dream; it is what the future is made of.
Take time to pray; it is the greatest power on earth.
Beloved, remember that time is a gift that God generously gives to us all. So instead of just looking to save time in your world of work, play, and rest; learn to take time. And learn to claim the blessings that God has given you in His time, measured not by hours, minutes, and seconds alone but in terms of eternity.
A couple of resolutions by Jonathan Edwards that would be good for all of us to adopt. “Resolution #5: Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can. Resolution #6: Resolved, to live with a
ll my might, while I do live.”
“I will not waste my life! I will finish my course and finish it well. I will display the Gospel of the grace of God in all I do. I will run my race to the end.” – Paul” (John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life)