Time is a gift that is given to each of us. Some of us have eighty years in our box, and some of us only have twenty. We have no idea what amount is in the gift that we hold in our hands. Our gift is nonexchangeable; and once spent, it can never be regained.
Sobering thought when you think about it. We can either spend our gift with nothing to show for it or we can use our time to create and build something that will far outlast us. The things that will outlast our lives are the lives of others, our reputation and heritage, and our service for God. I too often have spent my time on pointless activities instead of investing into the ones around me; crafting a legacy of honor, honesty, and love; and working as the hands of God on earth.
It is so easy to let a day go by and then realize that it was completely worthless. How can I use each second, each minute, each hour, and each day to the fullest so that I can give my very best to each moment?
Lists are great ways to accomplish what needs to be done; yet I need to remember that I should not be so focused on what needs to get done that I neglect the special little things of life. I need to do my job, but yet I need to take time to gaze at sunsets, dance in rain showers, and run in the salty ocean breezes. I need to make sure that my family is taken care of, but yet I need to take the time to hug them and truly listen to what they are saying. I need to do my Christian responsibilities, but yet I need to take the time to see each person as a precious individual, look into their eyes and feel their pain, and help to bind their wounds. Those special things are what will be “the footprints in the sands of time”.
Perhaps the very best way to get things done and not waste time is to remember that time can be wasted.
I think I’ll write myself a note that I can see every morning before I crawl out of bed to remind myself of the gift that I have been given- so that I can always use it to its fullest potential!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
A PSALM OF LIFE
“TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream ! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real ! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal ;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way ;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle !
Be a hero in the strife !
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead !
Act,— act in the living Present !
Heart within, and God o’erhead !
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate ;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.”