TIME [Advent Day 4]

My process for this daily exercise has been to look at the word early each morning, then let it roll around a bit in my head. Generally, two or three ideas come to mind, I start to write about one, and often realize another one was better!
Today’s word is TIME. Here is my first thought…

We have a lot of ways to keep track of TIME! And we do it well and diligently, don’t we? Most anything you want is available on a calendar. Word-a-day, trivia fact-a-day,recipe, vocabulary word, joke, and probably a lot of subject I don’t want to consider!
There is a calendar in the kitchen, on the desk, on the computer, on myphone. And yet, I still miss an appointment occasionally!
How about you? Can you identify with sometimes being overwhelmed by your calendar(s)? Or by constantly having to know what time it is? We won’t talk about the number of times I look at my phone for the time, then immediately forget what the clock said as soon as the phone goes back in my pocket.
I know I am not alone in that.
The most important question for me is, “Do I manage time or does it manage me?”
My 8th grade Geography teacher often said, “Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you!”
That is how I feel about the state of time management in my life.
And my second thought…
Isn’t it interesting how we are so focused on keeping track of our time – past, present and future – yet we often forget the value of time?
In the photo, you can see a long piece of paper across the top. That is a graph I made – the top line lists the years I have been alive. The columns, of course, are the months in each year. Lots of TIME.
I can point to some months, some periods, some years and recall feelings and events, joy or sorrow, fun or really hard work.
I can point to times that are historically important. November 1963, April and June 1968, October 1971 and 1978, August 1977, December 1980.
Generally, however, days turned to weeks turned to months turned to years. Lots of entries on paper calendars or computers or smartphones – none of which slow the circles.
Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
And, as often happens, a relevant song that jumped into the front of my brain.
If I could save TIME in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day till eternity passes away, just to spend them with you…
But there never seems to be enough time to do the things we wanna do once we find them,
I’ve looked around enough to know, you’re the one I wanna go through time with…
Ironic words from Jim Croce, who died at 30, just as he was gaining fame as a singer and songwriter.
I think about how quickly time goes by. I do. I am fully aware and often convicted by that knowledge.
Then life gets busy. And stressful.
Days go by and we lose track of what is important.
And we vow not to do it again. But we do.
Maybe we can learn to be more aware, more intentional about where the minutes go.
Maybe we can be more committed to being than doing.  
Maybe this Advent season can start a new habit of appreciating TIME.
We will talk again tomorrow…
I am participating in an Advent photo-a-day exercise. ReThinkChurch.org is facilitating the practice by providing a one word prompt each day. Participants are encouraged to share how we perceive each word.  
You can find out more and join here.

Beth Painter is a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.

Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life!