When I look back on my life, on the clock ticking away one minute at a time I'm left breathless. We all know the sun goes down, the moon comes up and the stars come out. It's the cycle of our lives but realizing how all those days and nights add up is pretty astonishing. Counting up my life span so far, as of February 26, 2017 my clock comes to 523 months, 2278 weeks, 15,947 days, 382,728 hours, 22,963,680 minutes, 1,377,820,800 seconds give or take a digit or two. That's startling actually if you think about it. Now think about this, something Henry David Thoreau once said, "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." So I guess my question is this, what are we willing to exchange for the life we live, with the time we have?
As a little girl I held on to my daddy's hand and to his every word. As he still does, my dad hung the moon, the sun and the stars in my life. I was his little girl and he was my hero. I looked up to him, sought him out, ran into his arms everyday when he came through the door. My dad, he taught me to live out loud, to take life in, every minute and to appreciate those who shared each of those moments with me. After all, "The greatest gift you can give someone is your TIME. Because when you give your time, you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back." My dad, and my mom together gave me their time. They gave me room to experience life, to find myself and to be myself without apologies. Time may not have always been kind, but it has definitely given me a full life. I've graciously lived an active, lively, rich ,full life. And yes it has been at the expense of the precious time we've shared together through the years. My mom and dad, they have given me their time from the moment I was born some 43 years, 7 months and 27 days ago. By God's grace, my parents hands and the stretch of time I have lived abroad and across this great county I call home. I have experienced life uncut, and in doing so I've learned life is beautifully messy. I've also found tomorrow is not guaranteed. James 4:14 spells it out perfectly for us, ""How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog—now you see it; soon it is gone."
Looking at this picture of my daddy and me, I realize just how much time has passed since those very moments in Germany, sitting there as a little girl looking out over Heidelberg. I was about three here. It feels just like yesterday but the truth is that moment in time, captured in this photograph was over 40 years, 5 months and 27 days ago. There's a song I remember as a teen by a group called DC Talk. It went something like this, "It's too short, it's too short. I have lots of time. They say time waits for no man. All the time. Time is tickin' away, time is tickin',Tick tock! Time is tickin' away, time is tickin' Tick, tick, tick, tock, tickin" And the reality despite our best attempts to overlook the truth is "Time is ticking away" and quickly at that. As a teenager I had no idea of how true this song was, I just knew I liked it, But now, some 25 years later I understand the lyrics and they hit closer to home more than ever. I guess when we're young we tend to think we're invincible, that we have all the time in the world and then some to make things right, for our dreams to become a reality or to go on that vacation we've been contemplating forever. As we get older we tend to understand, time is precious, fleeting, fragile and truly that we never have enough of it. The truth is, we make time for those people and the things that really matter to us. Time, no matter how we spend it ultimately has a way of showing up and showing us what really matters. Looking at my life today, where I stand, looking backwards and gazing forward I'm reminded of something William Shakespeare once said, "Time is very slow for those who wait. Very fast for those who are scared. Very long for those who lament. Very short for those who celebrate. But for those who love, time is eternal." You see love is the key to life, unconditional love to be exact. This is the gift my parents not only gave me, but taught me growing up. See the thing is if we place unrealistic demands on those we claim to love, then we do not understand the meaning of the word. Love is something we give freely, it should never come with stipulations. I've truly been blessed having been loved in a way such as I have. Not only loved by my parents in this way but by the love of my life, our children together and by those who call me family, related or not. 1 Corinthians 13:8 puts it this way, "All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever."
Life Lesson #127 ~ Time, is a reminder that while time is endless, we are not. Maybe the truth is we just need to stop, take a moment, carve out a minute to live and to love, unconditionally. Don't be afraid so much of time passing or stopping, be more afraid of not loving and of an un-lived life. I think we'd spend our time a bit more wisely if we understood the true essence and the measure of our time here on earth. The reality is, "If we remembered that we could lose someone at any moment, we would love them more fiercely and freely, and without fear -not because there is nothing to lose, but because everything can always be lost." The truth about time is we can't go back, we can't make up for lost time and we can't skip hours, minutes or seconds either. We have to live in each moment as if it's our last, not leaving words unspoken or chances un-taken. We are only given so much time on the clock, and when our time is up, there is no more to give or to be taken. Don't you want it said yours was a life well spent? I know I do. And so I pray just as my parents have, I'm a good steward of each day I am given.
"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory." ~ Dr. Seuss