We spend time, keep time, waste time, give time, mark time and it always seems to be in short supply. It defines our day, "I'll be back in a minute", "I finish work at 5 o'clock". We talk about running out of time like we run out of money, yet every morning the sun rises and every evening it sets ... the seasons come and go .... and time continues.
Time, that precious resource that never runs out and yet never seems to be enough. What a paradox.
Time is a gift, given in equal proportions to everyone. We each have the same 24 hours in a day and the choice to use it as we will. We can't buy more time, invent more or save it for another day. Its a bit like the manna in the wilderness, valuable only in the here and now. It is one of the most precious commodities we have; we can waste it or invest it.
One mother will see leaving the housework to spend time with her child a waste of time, while another will see it as a valuable investment. For most of my life I thought taking time for myself was a waste of valuable time, but I've come to realise it's an investment in my health and growth and a blessing to others because I'm more alive and refreshed.
I want to take more time for the things that are timeless ... kindness, generosity, gratitude, laughter ... things that have no used by date. Time to listen, really listen with my whole attention, my mind and heart engaged. Time to notice a cry for help or the need for a word of encouragement. Time to play and invite others to join me.
Whenever I go out with my next door neighbour she never fails to take a moment to stop and tell a mum how beautiful her baby is or someone how well the colour of her blouse suits her ... she's always on the look out for opportunities to brighten someone's day. It only takes a minute but in that minute something changes.
“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is” CS Lewis. Time is a great equaliser.
Every morning we wake, our past increases and our future decreases. Grabbing hold of every minute and living it as if it as if it were my last, gives me perspective on what's important in life. If God told you that tomorrow would be your last day on earth, how differently would you live today?