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What's the Hurry? Time's Running Out!
"Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of "I’m going to, "I plan on," and "Someday, when things are settled down a bit" - Erma Bombeck
When we asked Vicki what she’d like to do in Italy other than seeing Michelangelo’s works she replied, "I don’t really care. It’s the time with you guys that’s important." Time: that’s the crux of the matter. We don’t really understand time because it isn’t tangible: We can’t access it by using our five senses, hold it in our hands, weight it or package it; and yet we’re dominated by it.
Time is the very essence of life. I hate the word "pastime" because it implies that we want to make our time--life--pass more quickly because we haven’t anything worthwhile to do with it. Instead, we should be as parsimonious about spending our time as a miser with his money. Thus, it’s irritating when people are habitually late and make others wait and waste precious minutes of their lives.
Vicki probably can’t afford the time away from work and college to take this trip, and we probably can’t afford the money. However, we’re going. It’s now or never. Vicki dear, I must inform you that there’ll be a tad less in our modest estate!
Reader’s Digest reprinted an essay entitled "What’s Your Hurry" written by the fine novelist Elizabeth Berg. She has noticed that no one makes anything from scratch these days because our lives are so frantically busy. She asserts that we’re suffering from Time and Meaning Deficiency whose antidote might be to create something whether it be a birthday card, cooking, clothing or a go-cart.
Maybe if we made something from start to finish, we’d slow down and remind ourselves of the natural order of things. Maybe we’d remember what it is we really need: a sense of fulfillment, of happiness, of peace. We are in a hurry to get home at night so we can go to bed so we can get up for work so we can go home again. We spend weekends getting a jump on the week ahead. We are so oriented to the future, we don’t live in the present.
Amen! I’ve been a successful and busy Realtor--and no, I’m not soliciting business! This business can become a compulsion that takes over your life. A friend’s daughter said, "Mother, I suppose that when you’re on your deathbed you’ll rear up and say, "I wish I’d sold one more house." I replied, "I figure they’ll put ‘Just Listed’ on my casket!
Berg believes that our failure to take time causes something within us to atrophy so that we lose our spirituality. I agree that many of us over- fill our lives so that we don’t take time to look inside ourselves and think.. Berg resolved to change her ways, just as I have done--so many times.
I was clicking the remote control and stopped in the middle of a sermon by Joel Osteen that resonated with me. He was speaking about the interconnectedness of time and our lives and used the locust to illustrate his point. He said that when first hatched the locust can hop, but cannot fly. Then there comes a moment when a wind blows and lifts the locust up, and the locust knows that it’s time to fly. Osteen’s point was that for us humans there is also a "right" time and that our time will come.
Some decry any sort of religion these days, but there is a great deal of wisdom in what Osteen said and in the Bible. I need all the wisdom I can get! Here’s what it says in Ecclesiastes--The King James Version, to my mind some of the most poetic English ever written:
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heavens . . . a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted . . . A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away."
I’ve had a marvelous life, but sometimes I’ve been like a frantic butterfly beating its wings to shreds against a window pane. Also, I’ve spent too much time hopping like a locust. I sense that my time has come to cast away some of my busy baggage, lose my inflexibility, heed the wind’s message and seize today to fly into a fresh, newly minted tomorrow.
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