Have you ever considered that we’ve all been given the same amount of time each day to get things done, to enjoy life, and to find satisfaction and fulfillment? Longer term, we don’t have the same amount of time. It’s what you make of the time that you’ve been given that really matters. Procrastination and mindless activities are insidious foes out to foil our dreams. If we minimize them, imposters promising lasting satisfaction will try to hook us and steal our joy, preventing us from “reaching the prize.”
Time: that most valuable yet least valued of commodities. We can’t see it, but we later discover that it had snuck out the back door. How do you choose to spend your time? Although it stands as a barrier between you and great things to accomplish and enjoy, you must take advantage of what it offers before it is too late. Time is limited. Not only can’t you see, hear, smell, or feel it, you also can’t know how much of it you’ve been given. Oh, sure, you have 24 hours today, seven days this week, and 52 weeks this year–maybe. But time as you know it will someday cease for you. When it does, what will you have to show for the time you’ve been given?
Bicycle touring is such an intriguing case study in time management. An extended tour is an ideal microcosm for understanding the limitations of time. Unlike one’s lifetime, in this case study you know just how much time you have. You have an opportunity to define goals and measure against them. What you don’t know–until you embark–is just what will compete for that time. And you’ll have decisions to make about how to spend that time.
On our first tour, Debbie and I were surprised to encounter those decisions and the impact they would have. Trade-offs abounded. Would we clean the chain in the morning or simply begin riding earlier to spend more time at that attraction down the road? When we stopped to converse with a fellow tourist, we had just shortened that day’s riding time. And with our anticipated overnight accommodations ten miles down the road and daylight waning, how much time could we afford to invest in this engaging conversation, or in that rest stop? We passed countless items of interest, like beautiful landscapes, social activites, intriguing museums, and inviting parks. Would we ever be there again to enjoy them? Should we spend a day at one of them and forgo a more appealing stop that may pop up in the next thousand miles? And how much time was really needed for rest? You can’t enjoy the sights and sounds with your eyes shut and your ears under the covers! But neither can you enjoy them when overtired.
We all have choices in life, and those choices define how our time translates into our activities and our memories. What do you want your experience to look like–and your life to matter for? If you want to capture the best that time offers you, you’ll need to be intentional and discerning. For time slips by, never to be reclaimed. It waits for no man. Take stock today. Seek Divine guidance to determine “what you stand for”…and “where you are headed.” Then use these parameters as filters to help you manage your time wisely. One day, we’ll give an account. Make sure yours will end with the words “well done, good and faithful servant.”