What are nine months of a first pregnancy compared to nine months of tending a sick child? What is the value of five minutes waiting on a bus compared to the last five minutes of a person’s life? Time is relevant to our circumstances.
Most of us think about our age in terms of getting older. What if we measured time by how much we have left to live?
Some of us squander our days waiting for the perfect time or the perfect opportunity to act on something. Most of us are familiar with the anonymous quote, “Time nor tide wait for no man.” Pope Paul VI advised, “Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”
Many of us are so caught up in our routines and responsibilities, that we don’t allow ourselves time to enjoy the life we’ve been given. T. S. Elliot said, “Time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time.”
“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” — Theophrastus (372 BC-287 BC)
Harvey MacKay reminds us that “Time is free, but it’s priceless. 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.”
My favorite passage about time comes from the Bible and is one of the most well-known poetic passages. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” — Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I have had a lot of times on my hands lately. I am currently limited in what I cannot do, but there are still 24 hours in every day. Confined by recovery or not, they are still my hours to spend and I will never get them back.
In the beginning, after surgery, I still felt so poorly, the first few days were a blur of pain, sleep and medication. But slowly, as I have regained a clear head, less pain and more mobile, it has become important to me not to let this time pass me by without doing something worthwhile in it besides be sad about the circumstances and the changes that have come unbidden to my life.
I have had the privilege of spending more time with my mom and dad than I have had in many years. They are amazing, wonderful people and I am so blessed that they are mine and are still in good health for their ages. I have cherished the time I’ve had with them.
I have had many visitors and phone calls. Time well spent with friends is never wasted. It has been a tremendous blessing to know that I do have family, friends and church family who have truly cared about me and wanted to keep in touch or add a bright spot to this recovery time in my life.
I have watched some TV, although I must say, it has often been a time filler. I’ve learned a lot about purchasing and remodeling homes on HGTV. I’m hooked on Downton Abbey. And I believe there are Big Foot type creatures alive on the earth and hope that the television series will be able to gather the proof that is needed. For all of the channels on my TV cable, it seems the choices are still very limited.
I have read a few books. That is only a dent in the stacks I have accumulated that I have yet to read. The trouble with reading too much is that when I’m reading, I’m not writing about anything. I get caught up in the drama or the humor of a story and don’t want to put it down until I finish. Sometimes I think, “I could write stories like that.” We’ll see about that.
I have done physical therapy exercises every single day, three times a day. It is my own responsibility to do all that I can to get my strength and mobility back with my new knee.
I’m glad that I am able to do simple household chores. Not only do they help fill the time, but also make me feel like I’m getting better all the time.
I’ve thought a lot about life in general. I’ve agonized over the decisions that had to be made at this time about retirement. I’ve speculated what the future might hold.
I’ve prayed a lot for friends, loved ones, and myself. I’ve listened a lot, hoping to clearly hear the voice of God leading me in a specific direction, but have heard back only His peace that all will be well. Time will reveal what I need to know when I need to know it, and not before.
When I first started teaching at Wallins Elementary School, some of the young faculty referred to the elderly faculty as “the dinosaurs.” A couple of years ago, I realized that I had become one of those dinosaurs — the longest standing teacher on staff consistently in the school. I just didn’t realize my time of extinction was swiftly approaching. I do not wish back one second of the time I spent to do over. I always tried to do the best I knew how to do and was always open for correction, instruction, improvement, had anyone offered it.
Alexander Woollcott is quoted as saying, “Many of us spend half our time wishing for things we could have if we didn’t spend half our time wishing.”
One of my cousins use to say, “Wish in one hand and spit in the other. See which one gets full the fastest.”
I like the following quotes I found on time. “Take care in your minutes, and the hours will take care of themselves.” — Lord Chesterfield
“Time is what we want most, but… what we use worst.” — William Penn
“Time is like a handful of sand - the tighter you grasp it, the faster it runs through your fingers.” — Unknown
Trying to put my life in perspective as comparing what has already been spent and what is yet to come, I want to follow this advice: “Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.” — Unknown
I certainly am going to try.