The Gift of Time

“If I could save time in a bottle the first thing that I’d like to do is save every day ’til eternity passes just to spend them with you,” the opening line to Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce

What if we could save time like that?  Wouldn’t that be great? Then we’d have a chance to do things over, build up time for when we really need it, or just take our time for granted.

But time doesn’t work that way.  Time is a precious gift that should be savored and appreciated.

At my first job after college I was a reporter for a small town paper.  My “beat” was the police and sheriff’s departments as well as the fire department and county ambulance service and the courthouse offices, county commission and other assignments as given.  An amazing beat where I learned a lot.  One of the best things I ever heard in my life was from a paramedic who was the supervisor of his particular crew – his name was Gordon and he is someone I will never forget.  He told me, “never be a grave hugger.” I asked, “what do you mean?”

He explained that you should always tell people you love them, never leave anything unsaid, and never regret having said something to someone without an apology because you just don’t know how long you have with them. Very profound words for me to hear as I was just starting my career and adult life. That has been something I have tried to live by ever since and am so thankful for his wisdom.

Time also is a funny thing — sometimes it seems to fly by and other times it seems to drag. But we are still given the same 24 hours, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Have you ever noticed that when you are on vacation or doing something you really enjoy, the time seems to pass very quickly? It certainly seems to for me.  Or if you are dragging at the end of the week or feeling ill or with a person who is difficult to deal with, the hours seem to last and last? Again, I can relate to this too.

This summer I celebrated a wonderful high school reunion – our 25th.  I just can’t believe so many years have gone by since high school!  I sometimes still feel like that girl in the drama club, show choir with a small circle of friends, but know that I am not. I have responsibilities, a family, and an amazing life as an adult with many family and friends whom I cherish. It is amazing to see my friends from high school now and how everyone gets along so well — I have a unique class in that most of us are still in touch with each other. And we truly care about each other — what a blessing.

I hope that we can make the most of each day and truly learn to cherish this gift. I know there are people who wish they’d had more time with a loved one who has a lingering and/or long illness, or an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, or a childhood that has passed too quickly. For these people, I pray for comfort and the understanding that again with time, wounds can be healed and life can get better again.

Also time is positive for the Olympic athlete who has trained most of his or her life for a sport and then has the chance to compete and win a medal.  Wow!! I graduated with a girl who played for the Olympic women’s basketball team – they won gold which was amazing. Or the time your child is born is one is one you will always remember, or seeing your favorite band in concert, or watching the blockbuster movie, or when something amazing and wonderful happens – you get the job you’ve worked for, you get a promotion, your team wins the World Series or the Super Bowl.

Some things I savor are the time to bake and decorate cookies with my son, the time to watch the sunset at Mission Beach, the time to visit with a friend who I haven’t seen in years, the time to do laundry and spend the day visiting with my grandfather, the time to read the Bible, the time to read a book or newspaper, the time to celebrate a dear one’s birthday, the time to go to church and worship the Lord and sing His praises, and the time to have a date with my husband.

I still wonder if we can appreciate our time and make the most of it and try to help someone else. Lord, please help us do just that.

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