There is an endless storehouse of clichés and adages about something we actually think very little about outside of our subconscious, that precious and inestimable treasure known as time. Even a casual perusal of that reserve will lend such familiar platitudes as “time flies when you’re having fun”, “in the nick of time”, and “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Then there’s a “split second” or “just a cotton pickin’ minute,” and my personal favorite, the “New York Minute.” Surely we all know it’s “better to be late than never.”
And that’s just a few of the seemingly countless number of such familiar references to time.
One thing is certain; as we make the earthly trek from the cradle to the grave time is indeed a very valuable element to consider. It can be used wisely or wasted. It can be immensely productive or absolutely worthless. It all depends on the user. That’s us and we need to understand the grave responsibility (pun intended) which we have been entrusted with as the careful and loving caretakers of this priceless gift called time.
The Bedford, Texas-born actress Jenna Boyd had a memorable line in a movie she appeared in when she was only 11 years old. When asked by another character if she was afraid of what may be waiting beyond this life, part of her insightful response was “Not of dying, really. It’s more that I’m afraid of time. And not having enough of it.” (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants- Warner Brothers 2005)
I am at that fascinating age where I cherish every minute of every day and unapologetically embrace the wonderful memories I have accumulated thus far on my personal passage through time. It isn’t likely you would find those particular memories all that entertaining so I will spare you an insipid narrative related to my own recollections.
I will, however, challenge you to look at yourself in the mirror and honestly answer one question: How am I doing so far with the time I have been allotted? Don’t cheat. Tell yourself the truth. It could mean the difference in being a success or failure in almost every area of your life. It’s more than simple time management; it’s making every minute count (cliché alert) that I believe to be one of the most significant life issues we will ever be faced with.
As difficult as it is to assimilate, we are only days away from the inevitable launch of 2012 and so many things loom on our horizon, both as Americans and as human beings in general. Most of us will commit to some worthwhile New Year’s resolutions for the incoming year and many will also fail to realize those things won’t just happen as a result of simply making the commitment. Talk is cheap and we usually get what we pay for.
It will take a sincere resolution to make those things happen by becoming better stewards of our time. Knowledge may be power, but if we sit in our recliner and talk about how smart we are not much is going to be accomplished.
You may know I am a preacher and any preacher who doesn’t practice what he preaches is a hypocrite, so I assure you I have already begun an intense evaluation of how I am using my time.
I need to be more productive and make better use of every minute and hour I have been allotted and I am making some changes. It takes courage and determination to change, but I hope you will join me in the pursuit of excellence in the area of time usage so we will all become better people in every way.
It may involve a lifestyle adjustment for you or some mental or emotional housecleaning, but the end result of learning to use your time wisely will powerfully impact your personal world and your life will be much more constructive and fruitful. If you don’t know it already those are some of the key ingredients to establishing self-worth and contentment.
Against my better judgment I am going to conclude this commentary with yet another timely cliché; “Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today”.
You may not agree with a thing I’ve said but I column as I see ‘em.
Eddy Prince is the senior pastor at Grace Fellowship Church. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .