This I Believe

Susan - Dallas, Texas
Entered on January 31, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I Believe

Of all the gifts we are given in life, I believe time is the most valuable. Far more valuable than money, beauty, or possessions. When someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness, they often pray for as much time as possible with their loved ones. Remembering that we will all die some day makes us use our time more wisely. As the old saying goes, “No one on their death bed says ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.”‘ Most people are paid for their time, it’s called an hourly wage. Even if you are salary, or paid by the completed project, you are still getting paid money for your time working on someone else’s interests. Time off from work, say the weekends or vacation, is “our time” when we can tend to our own interests. That’s why time for ourselves is so highly treasured. We invent time saving devices like microwave ovens and high speed internet. Time waiting is construed as time wasted. When someone is convicted of a crime, our judicial system takes a portion of their time away from them by putting them in jail. The worse the crime – the more of their time.

I have elderly relatives and lonely friends who hunger for my time. I make my 80-year-old mother-in-law very happy by calling her regularly. They all want my time and attention. Lack of attention frequently destroys marriages and sometimes drives people into the arms of adultery. Attention and time are fused together most of the time. Spending time with someone but not paying attention to them isn’t meaningful. But giving someone undivided attention is called “quality time.” I try my best to prevent the internet or TV from stealing my time.

I haven’t had much tragedy in my life, but my father died at age 55, which is pretty young. I sure wish I had more time with him. From his death I learned to make sure my husband and children get the biggest portion of my time. We do without a lot of things so I can stay home during the week and be here for my kids. I take the time to walk them to and from school, and help them with their homework. When my kids are in school I volunteer my time. There are hundreds of organizations competing for my volunteer time, so I must focus and prioritize my time. When our family prays together, I ask God to keep us together, happy, and healthy for a very, very, very long time. I know my time will run out some day, so I treasure the time I have with the people I love, and hope for more good times to come.

submitted 1/31/2007