Saturday, January 21, 2012


Nearly every home contains some type of device to measure the time. If there is no clock on the wall or mantle in your house, there is probably a digital readout on the stove and/or microwave to indicate the time. Perhaps you wear a watch or note the passage of hours on a cell phone. If you are required to maintain a rigid schedule, there is likely a clock near the bed encouraging you to wake up each day.

Time is important. It regulates when we sleep, eat, exercise, and are entertained in our daily lives. Time measures the work week and the school day. It's pattern of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years has formed a framework to help us cope with life's rhythm while accomplishing tasks along the way.

It is the passage of time which signals crocus bulbs to announce the arrival of spring and the orange and red leaves to publicize autumn's chill. Time ebbs and flows to remind us when to carve pumpkins, dye Easter eggs, wrap gifts for birthdays, Christmas and special occasions.

Unfortunately, despite the importance that time occupies in our lives, we tend to ignore it. During many of our busiest years, we are so focused on other tasks at hand that we miss the passage of time. It merely drifts away. Many of us have become the people who overlook the beauty of entire forest to glimpse the individual trees.

What a shame.

It took retirement to show me the true significance of time. Once I stepped off the work-day treadmill, I discovered some of what I had been missing for 46 years. Many fascinating events routinely occur outside of the eight-hour day, events that go unnoticed while we are consumed with earning a paycheck. There is magic in each moment.

Time has been with us for a while now. Consider all of the expressions we use regularly hear:
It's about time.
Time waits for no man.
Time's a-wasting.
Time out.
Time's up.
It's quitting time.
A time to every purpose under the heaven.
Time is money.
No time like the present.
That's a waste of time.
Time flies.
The time has come.
Time is on our side.

Unfortunately, time is not really on our side. It hovers around us like a cloud, waiting for us to stop and take notice. But whether or not we notice, time is fleeting and won't be around for long. We need to occasionally stop and pay attention to what matters.

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