Each day brings new challenges, new responsibilities, new goals, new ideas, which in turn put more demands on our time.
To me time has become a micro-managed commodity. Many including myself have full time jobs, busy families, regular activities, and full social calendars. More and more we are held accountable to be productive with our time. Frequently we are asked, “What did you do last night?” “What are you doing this weekend?” What did you do today?” It seems that our value as a person is measured by how best we utilize our time both at work and away from work.
It is often said, “There are just not enough hours in a day.” I am ashamed to admit that this has become my mantra. The truth is each of us has exactly the same twenty four hours to use at our discretion each and every day. It doesn’t matter if you are a laborer, a retiree, or the President of the United States; we are all equal in this area. I struggle daily with my allotment of time. There are so many things I feel I need to do before I can do the things I want to do. As a child, this was never an issue, I had hours of free time to catch butterflies, gaze at the clouds, or simply hang out with my friends. But adulthood brings careers, mortgages, bills and families. At some point we realize time is slipping past us.
I have been on vacation these past two weeks and among the many things I had on my to do list was to think about and write an essay on what it is I truly believe. In doing so I realized, sadly, that I haven’t spent much time embracing those beliefs. I also almost never open forwarded emails because I don’t have the time, or if I do I skim through them rather quickly and then hit the delete button. However, since I was on vacation, I actually read a few (and even forwarded a few.) When I got to the bottom of a particular one it literally stopped me in my tracks as it spoke volumes to my soul:
LIVE SIMPLY, LOVE GENEROUSLY, CARE DEEPLY, SPEAK KINDLY,
LEAVE THE REST TO GOD
If you’ve read this before you obviously have too much free time (just kidding.) But in relation to time, what is really important to me? What are my priorities? How can I live my life differently so there are no regrets at the end of the day? I believe that by adhering to these simple words I can hold dear the values I was raised with and leave a legacy of distinction.
Live Simply – Enjoy the ordinary, everyday things in life. Each day is a gift filled with possibilities to interact positively with those around me.
Love Generously – “I love you.” Those three meaningful words are what make life worth living. Never pass up an opportunity to say them or to show someone how much I love them.
Care Deeply – Everybody needs a friend, someone to share their joys and sorrows. Be that person.
Speak Kindly – Courtesy, respect, encouragement. These words and values never go out of style. Assume the best in people and situations. God’s word says to edify and lift each other up.
Leave the rest to God – Trust. Trust in His mercy. Trust in His wisdom. Trust in His sovereignty, and let go.
Each day I must listen to the voice in my spirit and let it direct my path. I must realize and acknowledge the value of the people that have been placed in my life, and look at my circumstances with appreciation. Some days it’s O.K. to have a peanut butter sandwich for dinner, as long as we share a meal together. It may be healthier for me to ride my bike, but my nine year old dog lives for a leisurely walk around the neighborhood. The dust on the coffee table will still be there tomorrow, because the sunshine on the patio is perfect this afternoon. A phone call to an old friend may take 15 minutes, but the memory will last a lifetime.
I may not always get it right. In fact I know I’ll mess up from time to time, and so right here and right now I promise myself not to stress out over it. And the good thing is that tomorrow morning I’ll have a brand new twenty four hours to try it again (and maybe dust the coffee table.) This I believe.
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