Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock
Happy New Year! And now for a few sobering thoughts.If you were to condense an average life of 70 years into one working day, say from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. – then, if you are:– 15, the time is 10:25 a.m.– 20, the time is 11:34 a.m.– 25, the time is 12:42 p.m.– 30, the time is 1:51 p.m.– 35, the time is 3:00 p.m.– 40, the time is 4:08 p.m.
— 45, the time is 5:16 p.m.– 50, the time is 6:25 p.m.– 55, the time is 7:24 p.m.– 60, the time is 8:42 p.m.– 65, the time is 9:51 p.m.– 70, TIME’S UP!!!It kind of pulls you up short, doesn’t it?You start thinking about those few minutes you wasted back in 2002 or the time you spent worrying in 1998 that could have been put to better use now that only a few hours remain.
All of this puts a whole new understanding onto the term “wasting time.”If wasting time means stopping to smell the roses or hug your lover or listen to your children, then I’m all for it. It’s certainly what I’d rather be doing between 7:24 and 8:42.Looking at this chart, it is easy to see that wasting time really means spending energy pursuing the things that aren’t going to matter much come 10:59 p.m. If our lives are wrapped up with climbing the ladder or padding our pension, I have a hunch that when the evening arrives we won’t be feeling too satisfied with how we spent the day.Although I haven’t attended a great many folks on their deathbeds, I have discussed the subject enough to know that few people complain in their waning minutes about wanting to spend a little more time in the office.It is more time with loved ones, more time doing the things that bring peace and joy that they grieve.There is an old hymn that goes: “Now the day is over, night is drawing nigh …” I find myself humming it around the house lately. It’s a healthy reminder of how quickly my life passes and how easy it is to waste this precious time.
The passage of time is marked with the celebration of traditions. Last night’s festivities bring the realization of another year gone by and with it too many missed opportunities for spending our limited time wisely.Perhaps an appropriate resolution today is to truly cherish these quickly passing moments of our lives.Someone once said, “He who kills time commits suicide.”There are myriad little deaths we experience in our life when we squander the gift of time. An afternoon spent in anger, a week of pre-Christmas frenzy, months living in envy or greed – these are the means of our suicide.In my favorite book is the line, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” The abundance of life is all around us, especially apparent in these past holy days. It can be found in the delightful squeal of a child or the comforting presence of a friend. It is everywhere about us, waiting to be discovered, waiting for us whenever we realize what time it really is.Rich Mayfield writes a Saturday column. This is an encore of one of his favorites. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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