For as long as I can remember, I’ve been quite time-oriented. Sometimes obsessively so.
When I was in my early twenties, I planned every activity of the day in fifteen minute increments. I was so tied to my scheduling that I got pretty upset if, for example, I didn’t leave on a trip at the exact time I’d planned to. Good thing I wasn’t married then. I would’ve driven anyone nuts.
I outgrew that quirk, but never quit thinking of time as something to be possessive of. I resented anyone or anything that intruded on my time needlessly. As much as I liked the kids when I was teaching school, the fact that it ate into too much of what should have been my free time was a major factor in changing careers.
I was fortunate. My next two careers rarely required time beyond the “8:00 to 4:00.” But the most serious work problem I ever had took place when I foolishly insisted too much on sticking to regular work hours. Although I’ve forgiven myself for it, I can’t seem to forget about it.
Now that I’m officially retired, time should be mine to do with as I please. Right?
How I wish. Although I’m free to decline certain activities–my low energy level is a factor, too–I still live by the clock to some extent. I get up at 6:30 on weekdays to fix breakfast for my wife. But that’s voluntary, and she doesn’t mind if I choose to sleep late occasionally. “Late” typically means 7:00 or 7:15.
Even though I retired to write full-time, I don’t. When I have a project going, yes, I can spend eight or nine hours a day at it–whether it’s writing the rough draft or editing and revising it for the twentieth time. But I’m also conscious of the need for variety, especially since I spend most of my day at home alone with the cat and the dog.
None of us knows how much time God will give him. In my time-consciousness, I’m well aware that I could die while writing the next book, no matter what my age. Yet I can look back at times in my life when I could have died and didn’t and can only be thankful that God didn’t consider that my time yet. I believe He kept me alive because He had more things He wanted to do through me.
In truth, my time–like my possessions–really belongs to God. The important thing for me to remember daily is the need to use my time in ways that honor Him. When death comes, I ought to be satisfied, knowing that it’s His choice of time, not mine.
What are your thoughts on time? Please leave a comment.
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“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.
Be on the lookout for my next novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, which releases on November 25. I’ll be talking about it this Wednesday, but please check it out at Amazon if you’re interested.