If I could, I would hoard time. I would hold it tight to my chest, fold it into my closed fist, hide it in my messy office, file it under MINE. And I would raise my voice to those interrupting me when I am writing, reading, thinking, and certainly, praying. I’d holler DO NOT BOTHER ME. I’m busy using my time to do my favored tasks and pleasures, not yours.
Truth be told, I do holler that at times. I can be unbelievably rude. And if you think, I am saying I might be more important than you. Of course, it sounds that way. It sounds wrong because it flat out is wrong. We are all God’s unique creations and none of us has more value than anyone else.
I can say even as I know I am wrong. I am very wrong. I am completely wrong. None of my precious seconds, not one heartbeat, not one blink of an eye is mine. They are all free gifts from God.
I learned that early but I am very good at denial. I learned it as my father, an undertaker and owner of the community’s ambulance, shared it in conversations with my mother. I listened to stories of loss and agony. I saw it as caskets were wheeled out for funerals. I could watch at one of our windows. I knew young that some people died old; some died after long illnesses; some died in tragic accidents; some died by their own hand and some died too young and too fast.
I know that reads dark but it is the truth. Every day is a gift. It is a gift even if it is full of irritations, things that annoy and upset, disappointments, tears, regret. We are quicker to thank God for the days where the sun shines; unexpected wonders happen; laughter dances through all our minutes or maybe, it is simply a quiet day with gentle good moments. But it is all a gift.
Years ago there was a popular song, “I never promised you a rose garden.” I liked that song. My mom liked the song about doing it her way. Yet both of us knew that we loved God, knew that living life our way or insisting on a rose garden did not draw us closer to God, did not enlarge our knowledge of God.
So I sigh after one more day of my time not being used as I wanted but thanking God for the opportunity of serving others with the gift of time from God and the talents God granted me.