Did you know that in a lifetime, the average American will sit at a stop light for six months? Eight months opening junk mail? One year looking for misplaced objects? Two years unsuccessfully returning phone calls and five years waiting in line?
These figures seem impossible to fully comprehend, but somewhere in a sterile cubicle, a statistician has reduced our lives to such peculiar numbers. If they don’t offer one the opportunity for pause, I’m not sure what will. Seeing my life in these terms definitely makes me reassess my priorities.
The reality for each of us is, we don’t have nearly as much time on this earth as we originally thought. We just get complacent that somehow time will stand still for us and that we’ll always have tomorrow to do things, when that is not necessarily the case. Each of us are allotted a certain number of days and then our lives here on earth will be completed. What we do in the meantime is up to us.
What will we do with that time?
It is incredibly amazing to me the amount of time people spend watching television, movies, playing video games, etc. Of course, there is a time and a place for R & R. Yes, there is. But, not at the price of neglecting relationships, housework, and other priorities, etc. And add to our obsession list, the advent of smart phones and we run the further risk of becoming a true ostrich. What is one to do?
Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days that we may have a wise heart.”
I think periodically it’s a good idea to reassess how we are spending our free time. I am a stay-at-home mom but for those who work outside the home, we are targeting the time you have on your hands after you clock out. For me, my work never ends as I have two teenagers, am married and care for an elderly father at home. I still have a few moments to call my own. So what do we do with those?
Are we using our time wisely? What if we knew we only had a certain number of years remaining in our life cycle? Would we skip vegging on YouTube or Facebook a bit more? Would we reach out and call our loved ones on the telephone or even better, visit them in person more? Texting is lovely but it can never replace our humanity.
Pause is necessary in our crazy busy culture. What do you hope to achieve in your lifetime? What kind of person do you hope others remember you being? Are you that person? If not, what steps can you take toward becoming that person?
With technology ever in the forefront of our lives, down time is increasingly important for reflection. Take a walk in your neighborhood or by the lake or on the beach. Breath in fresh air. They say when we get out in nature, it has a relaxing effect. I think we all need more of that in our fast paced society.
Here’s hoping you’ll be a wise steward of your days.
They say no man on his deathbed ever wished they’d spent more time at the office. No, they often say they wished they spent more time with their family. Maybe it’s time for a pause, a time of reflection to review priorities.
We are all given the same 24 hours in a day. It’s how we spend it that is up to us.