Spending time, the limited resource, wisely

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Well it’s January which means another year is beginning. Another year? Sheesh – I was just getting used to the last one! I hate to sound so clichéd but where on earth does the time go?

I know as you age, your experience of time changes. I’ve experienced that myself and have plenty of testimony from friends to back that up. At this rate, in another decade (if I last that long!) everything will be moving so fast my life will look like all those commercials I fast forward through on my Tivo!

We’ve all had experiences where time seems to fly while at other times it seems to drag on oh-so-slowly. How an hour having fun or talking with a loved one can seem to go so quickly while an hour at the dentist is like a slow motion hacking scene from one of those horror movies is one of life’s little oddities.

I remind myself of this when I have to endure being somewhere or doing something I really don’t want to do. The truth is, an hour is sixty minutes and each one of them passes at exactly the speed no matter what it seems like. Our lives pass at the same rate and time doesn’t slow down or speed up no matter how much we might like it to.

Time is a universal constant, time is how we measure our lives and most things in them, and time always seems to be slipping away from us. And no one knows just how much time they have left on this earth either. It makes me think that the answer to that old Chicago song from 1969 – Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is? – is “Not really.”

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If I sound paranoid or obsessive about all this I don’t mean to. What I hope to do is to get us to thinking about all this. How I use my time is how I spend my life. Everything takes time, and unlike money, which is also central to our lives, you can’t make any more time.

That’s why I think the start of a new year is a great opportunity to take some time to evaluate how I’m spending my time, who I’m spending it with, and how I might spend it a bit more wisely. I’m only going to live through 2015 once if I live through it at all. I’m not being morbid but remember that while the odds are high I will be alive come 2016 neither you nor I know that for sure.

So don’t you think it might be a good idea to see how and where I could make some changes that would help me to live life in a fuller and more meaningful way? To experience the people and things around me now, because I may not ever get to experience them again?

I think so, and here’s just a few ideas on what a lot of us might need to evaluate:

Social Media. Yes, I’m on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and a few others I can’t think of right now. I enjoy them and find them very helpful in communicating with people. However, maybe I ought to try and spend a little more time actually talking to people face to face instead of “Facebooking” them.

Service. I’m a big believer in service. I have chosen to spend my whole life serving so I suppose that doesn’t come as a big surprise. But even service needs to be evaluated. I don’t just need to ask if I’m serving, but how I’m serving. Maybe I can make changes to serve others better. Or maybe I need to stop copping out and step out of my comfort zone and take a more active role both in what I do and how I do it.

Stretching. I’m sorry to disappoint some of you but this isn’t a suggestion about either sexual positions or physical exercise. At least not directly. What I’m suggesting here is that I think it’s a great idea to deliberately force myself to stretch. To do things that I’ve held off from doing because of fear or doubt (which always includes fear) or because of others disapproval.

Push your limits in several areas of life this year! That could include just about anything, of course. I’m hoping and suggesting we all do this in a positive and beneficial direction. Drinking more really isn’t what I have in mind unless you’re thinking about water of course!

So jump into the New Year, live life joyfully, passionately and fully, and have a very happy new year!

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Louie Marsh is pastor of Christ’s Church on the River on the Parker Strip. Visit the website HERE.

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