Time, like money, is what we make of it. Unfortunately, it often takes the loud knock of calamity at our door to jar us into acknowledging this truth. It's amazing what an angina attack, followed by a cardiac catheterization, can do to reorganize your priorities.
Huddled with a close friend in the hospital waiting room during my husband's surgery to determine the extent of the blockage, I realized that under the guise of disaster, Eric and I had been handed a golden blessing. God had given us a chance to choose anew how we would use the remainder of our days. We could squander our time on overwork, meaningless detail and mind-numbing pastimes; or we could spend our time with thought, grace and gratitude and savor the riches it brings.
Time Comes at a Cost
Of course spending time wisely is easier said than done. When you're up to your eyebrows in bills, careers, kids, church, friends, clutter and a cat with allergies, stopping to smell the roses may mean you'll only notice they need pruning. And who wants to add another item to their "to-do" list?
I'm increasingly convinced, however, that our perceived shortage of time may be largely of our own making. We talk incessantly about our lack of free time. Even after Eric's heart scare, he and I are right in there adding to the chaos of life. Just this past weekend, for example, I was off to Kentucky to promote my new book, while he worked a trade show in Indianapolis and our daughter stayed with a family friend.
"We don't have enough time!" we wailed to each other on the phone, knowing full well that if that excuse got any flimsier it would unravel faster than a cheap suit. The truth is, we're rich in time. What we sometimes lack is the backbone to take responsibility for how we choose to spend it.1