“The days are long, and the years are short.”
I can’t recall when Jana said this to me last year, but I thought it was so poignant. How many times do days seem they last forever? It could be due to work, sickness, family, or something else that makes the day seem like it has forty-eight hours instead of twenty-four. We make comments like, “This day will never end!”
And yet the days always do. The beginning of each new month brings about someone in our lives expressing surprise at how fast the year is moving. When I was younger, it seemed like forever between holidays, birthdays and school years. Now? They are gone within the blink of an eye. One of the more vivid memories from my youth is the first day of junior high. I had no reason to think this, but I thought about how quickly it would go by. And it did. I was graduating from high school before I knew it.
This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
–Gollum’s riddle to Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. The answer is time.
It’s 2013. Remember when 2012 began? 2012 was hyped up a bit because of the silly Mayan calendar, and various other end of the world predictions, but they all came and went. Time wins out.
I turn 37 this year. Ideally, I’m nearing the halfway point of my life. It’s a time in my life where people older than me think I’m young, and people younger than me think I’m old. I find myself thinking about time more and more. Taking time to think about time. Huh…
What I consider is making the most of my time. Oh, this is something people always say, but as one gets older I think one realizes how they can make even better use of their time. George Bernard Shaw said, “Youth is wasted on the young.” Perhaps, but out of it comes wisdom for the old…or those who are turning 37.
This doesn’t mean one can’t have fun, or have moments of rest. But I know time wins out. Until time does, what am I doing with my time? For instance, a few nights ago I’m laying in bed flipping through one of the sites on I Can Has Cheezburger. There are thousands of other productive things I could have been doing or reading, but instead I took thirty minutes to go through the blog. Was there funny stuff on it? Sure, but did I need to spend roughly thirty minutes of my evening on it? Thirty minutes where I don’t have the responsibilities of family and work, and I do this?
Time is a commodity in short supply in my life. I use to think I didn’t have much time in my life, but that was the foolishness of youth and thinking I couldn’t follow every pop culture flash-in-the-pan thing. Now? I have a full-time job. I’m married. I have three boys ages six and under, and a fourth boy on the way. Time is a dwindling asset that can reap huge returns if I invest it wisely.
I find myself writing a lot about time the past few years. (Examples here and here.) I’ve wasted plenty of time in my life already, and thankfully God has redeemed it for good. I don’t need to waste more time, though. I want the second part of my life to have more meaning, impact…I want it to have more life than the first part of my life.
Andy Dufresne said it best. “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” Time to get busy living. Never hurts to be reminded of this.