Sunday, April 18, 2010
The Value of Time
Dear Loved One and friends, both old and new,
I hope you didn't think I had forgotten you because I haven't. Every year I think that I couldn't be busier and then the next year I'm busier. I have realized this year, however, that I am going to have to slow down. I've learned so much about the value of time this year because it seems I have had a shortage of it. I've started this letter twice and was not happy with it so maybe "third time's a charm."
And so began my next letter . . . .
The sad thing is that I've lost a page out of this one and I know what I lost was very important. The paragraph at the end of page one goes like this:
"We've received excellent "instructions in righteousness" from our Pastor. He has been very instrumental in helping us see some things that we knew all along but seemed to ignore. We've set some goals in our lives this year and are striving to obtain them. It is amazing how God seems to go to work for you when you try to do the right thing. I mentioned time before. Bro. T has . . . . . . ."
. . . . . . . .and the next page is missing. I can only surmise what I wrote, but obviously it had something to do with time. . . and the value of time. This got me to thinking.
How much is time worth? Can you actually put a monetary value on time. Of course, from a marketing perspective, your time is commiserate with your training. A doctor's time or a lawyer's time is worth more than a data entry clerk's time, for instance. I submit, on the other hand, that time is priceless. Time lost is time lost forever. My time is as valuable to me as any specialized surgeon's time. The Bible instructs us to "Redeem the time". Here's my take on some of the more familiar "time" phrases you may know:
Time management. There is no such thing as time management. There is only self-management of the time available. (Don't know who said this first.)
Time flies. Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Birthdays seem to come at an ever increasing rate but I've still got a year to pay on that two-year note that I feel like I've been paying on for five years. My grandbabies were just born yesterday even though they're five and three. Hey, their daddy, my son, was just starting kindergarten yesterday!
Time and Tide wait for no man. ~ Mark Twain. I think he, himself aptly put this one to rights: "A pompous and self-satisfied proverb, and was true for a billion years; but in our day of electric wires and water-ballast, we turn it around: Man waits not for time nor tide." "Electric wires and water-ballast?" Boy, Mr. Twain, if you could see us now!
No time like the present. And, don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Time is too precious to waste.
Time changes everything . . .
The writer of Ecclesiastes had a pretty clear grasp of what time is and the best way to utilize time. Put everything in its own time.
"For everything 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."
Henry David Thoreau said, about wasting time, "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity." Oh, if we could ever really grasp this, what awesome things we could accomplish. You must realize the value of time. Understand this: time spent in relaxation and rejuvenation is not wasted time. But don't masquerade time spent in pointless pursuits and time-robbing activities as relaxation and rejuvenation time! All activities, or non-activities, should have a true purpose and focus. And I'm preaching to the choir here. And I'm a member. Reading a book is much more rewarding, relaxing, and rejuvenating than playing a video game. Taking a nap is far more relaxing and rejuvenating than watching a television program. Actually, a task accomplished, finished, and done is way more relaxing and rejuvenating than procrastinating about it!
I, for one, want to look for ways to make better use of my time. That is not to say that I will never mess up. But I want to manage "me" in the time that is available to me so that my time will be the maximum value that it deserves.
I like what Benjamin Franklin said: "Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that the stuff life is made of." And finally, from Captain Jean-Luc Picard: "Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind us is not as important as how we have lived."
What is the Value of Time to you?