Where Has All The Time Gone?
Things are changing in my life and it’s time I began to take more notice. I had a big birthday recently which caused me to ask “where has all the time gone?”
Someone sent me a birthday greeting that told me I had enjoyed 3652 weeks, 25,568 days and a total of 613,632 hours of my life so far. So where has all those weeks, days and hours gone?
The Great Challenge.
One of the greatest challenges we all face, is contained in Psalm 90. It says “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I’m not sure exactly what he meant by a heart of wisdom but I guess it includes the fact that we should appreciate the gift of time that we are given.
I was at a funeral recently, of a young man in his 20’s who died suddenly in a car accident. The prevailing question was “how could he die so young?” How much more should the question of our use of our time bother us, who only vaguely remember what it was like to be 20! I think the Psalm is reminding us that life is short – even for us who have lived long lives. And he clearly reminds us, what we have left is so precious, so we should make the most of every moment. After all you can never be sure how many days you have left.
How Much Time Have You Used Up?
If I think about it, the 70 years I’ve lived so far, means I’ve spent around 23 years of my life asleep so that takes care of a lot of the time. Since I worked for 48 years in various jobs that means about 17 years of my life were spent at work. But taking all those away from my age, I still have around 30 years to account for!
Of the rest, I grew up in a home where church attendance was normal and I have continued that for the rest of my life, so attending church accounts for another 10 years – well sort of. I cannot remember ever spending a whole day in church so maybe I should discount that by at least 80% which would bring it back to 3 years. I’ve used a bit of time eating as well. If I’ve spent about 2.5 hours eating every day that accounts for another 7.2 years. I’ve also spent time doing my teeth and having a shower but not that much. I’ve spent a bit more time driving places and I spent time gardening, but thankfully that’s even less than teeth cleaning! So what happened to the rest of my time? Where has that 20+ years of time that’s unaccounted for, gone?
What Others Say.
I know I’m not alone in wondering about where my life has gone. A Counsellor friend of mine says her clients have often spoken about “time” to her over the years. Some of the things they said were…
- Time goes so fast, it’s almost April already and I haven’t done anything worthwhile.
- I’ve wasted so much of my time…..
- I’m regretting not spending more time with my children.
- I didn’t spend much time with my Family because of work, and now I’m alone.
- I spend my time worrying about the future…..
- I’m really not enjoying this time in my life, how can I change it?
- The last few moments of time I spent with my wife (or husband/ dad/ mum/ child) were so precious. I’ll hold that memory for ever.
- If you want your kids to remember their time as children with good memories; choose wisely what you do and stay in the moments you have with them.
- I never knew it would be the last time that I saw….., if I had I would have done/said……..
- If I could go back in time I would……. OR If I could have my time again……..
There Is No Going Back!
That tells me, we spend a lot of time concerned about time and, particularly, the way we have used up our time. In addition, most of us have some things we would like to go back and change. Yet, we know that life has a beginning, and it moves relentlessly forward, one second at a time, until it ends. There is no going back! There is no reliving of even a single moment. Omar Khayyam once wrote “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.”
He is saying moment by moment, day by day, human life is used up. Not a single moment can be relived. Nothing can take us back to change anything that happened in the past. No matter how many tears we shed, the past will always stay in the past.
That’s kind of sobering isn’t it. Because of our inability to go back and change things, we ought to be more careful about what we choose every day. At some point, you just have to make a choice to let go of what you thought should have happened and live in what is happening now. That way at least if you don’t like it – you can change it!
Momentary Decisions Can Have a Life Long Impact.
It is a fact of life, that a decision made today, can change the direction of your whole life profoundly. A single phone call, a chance meeting, a missed appointment, all have the potential to be truly life-changing in their implications – yet at the time may seem to be trivial.
When I left school, my dad came home with a newspaper one Saturday. I can’t remember any other time he purchased a paper on Saturday. But that day, there was a job advertisement in the paper that led to me finding a job for the next 25 years. So on that one day, on the whim of my dad as he passed a newsagent, my life changed dramatically.
If there is no other reason to trust in God – I think our inability to see the implications of our actions is enough! Only He knows the future. If you put your life in the hands of someone who can see past the trivial things of today and into the future, it is a very good choice.
Maybe that would be a good place for you to start. You could simply pray and ask Him to take control of your thoughts and actions today, and into the future. That way you can make the most of the rest of your life. And you never know, maybe then, the rest of your life, will be the best of your life.