I bought an hourglass several years ago and I keep it on my desk to make
me mindful of time. I often tilt it over when I’m thinking to watch
the sand pour through. This morning as I watch the
trickling sand, I’m reminded once again how brief our vacation
on earth really is, and that life is truly a matter of time.
I read a book once called “Your Money
or Your Life” that pointed out just how finite time is.
The average man in America can expect to live to be about 75 ½ which
is around 661,380 hours. The average female normally lives an
additional 43,800 hours. The idea behind the book is; how many
hours of your life are you giving up to buy “stuff”?
Cars, jewelry, shoes and big houses? When I did the math, the
numbers were sobering.
Everyone has to earn a living, unless you are
born into money. But some folks live beyond their means, and
spend too much of their lives trying to keep their heads above
It’s a proven fact that “stuff” doesn’t
make you happy. Spending time with the people you love, or doing
things that make you stronger, smarter, and better, do tend to
make you happier.
My mama and daddy spent a chunk time with us
kids. When we were in school, Mama would set up the ironing board
in the kitchen and iron clothes while watching us do our homework.
She could spot check our work and never miss a wrinkle. I think
they went to every Christmas play, little league game, or fall
festival we were in.
They understood that it was only a matter of
time before we grew up and left the nest for a life of our own.
Likewise, my grandparents who lived next door
for much of my life, invested a great deal of time in us kids.
If I asked one question, I asked a million. I don’t think
it ever occurred to them to say, “Not now son, I’m
busy and don’t have the time.”
Do you ever wonder why some people are successful
at running businesses, raising families, and life in general?
Or why some people are phenomenal guitar players, dancers, preachers,
teachers, or athletes? There is usually talent involved with
each of these callings, but perhaps the biggest factor is time.
Successful people devote the time to attain
the life they desire. Musicians spend countless hours of practice,
doing mundane scales, riffs, and study before becoming accomplished
performers. The difference between mediocrity and brilliance
is measured by the hands of time.
So many people spend valuable time on unimportant
things. Once those grains of sand pass through the hourglass,
you can never get them back.
A very good friend of mine who had a run-in
with cancer a few years ago, told me that she no longer spends
time with people she doesn't like.
During her professional career, she attended
functions and gatherings with people she didn't know. After a
short time, she realized she didn't want to know them. "It's
not that they were bad people," she explained "they
just wanted different things from life.
I made a decision to spend the time I have left
with people I enjoy being around."
These days she spends quality time tending her
garden and her animals. She visits with her friends. She reads.
She drinks green tea in the afternoon while watching yellow and
purple finches on the feeders in her yard. The time she spends
in stillness seems to make her stronger.
I thought about my friend as I watched the sand slipping through the
hourglass today and I understand her appreciation for every passing moment.