Sunday, November 7, 2010
The Gift of Time
Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back. (Harvey MacKay)
That's a great quote for a day when we were gifted with an extra hour. Of course most of us slept through our gift as we got back that hour we lost last spring to Daylight Savings Time. Some people love DST. Some people say they'd rather be more in tune with nature and live by sun time. But gaining the hour got me to thinking about time and how our lives are so regulated by this or that clock. Then as I was looking through my pictures to come up with a clock or watch, I saw these trees. And they seemed timeless to me. Some of them have been growing in that place in California before California came to be. I was thinking time might strip away some of their limbs or turn their bark a ghostly gray, but the trees aren't worried about the minutes and hours ticking past the way we are. No wristwatches on their branches.
But then I stopped in my thought tracks and realized that trees do tell time. They mark their age by the rings of growth and show the change of the seasons with their leaves. The sea too as it pounds into the rocky shoreline is measuring time with its waves. Tides in and out can be predicted with the same precise timing as the sun rising and setting. Time is at the very center of nature.
"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1. That has to be one of the most well known verses in the Bible. Time is part of our lives whether we ease along in life stretching out the hours and enjoying the ride or if we rush and run and think we must use every minute frantically getting something - anything - done. I'm afraid I've been in the rush and do time lane too much. I don't know that I want to stop doing. I just want to note the moments as they pass. Enjoy the time. Unwrap the gift of time I've been given.
I put a poem in our church bulletin today that I'm sure many of you have probably already seen in some pass along e-mails in the last few years. It is supposedly a poem written by a terminally ill girl. Now whether that is true or not, I don't know. No name or source was given in the little pamphlet where I found the poem. But these are the last few lines.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift...thrown away.
Life is not a race; do take it slower.
Hear the music before the song is over.
Hear the music and savor the minutes. Oh yeah, if you're in the area you can savor some of those minutes next Saturday enjoying a great day at the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort. There will be over two hundred authors there - including yours truly - and it's a great day to do some Christmas shopping. An autographed book makes a fun gift. Come by and say hi if you come. I'll be smiling and doing my best to enjoy the moments. It won't be hard surrounded by all those authors and books. You can check out the author lists and books at www.kybookfair.org.