“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” ~ Carl Sandberg …
Picturing our time as a coin we have in our possession is such a wonderful reminder of how precious and valuable it is. After all, most of us understand monies–we have experienced firsthand the results of being responsible and saving them up, as well as the consequences of being careless with them. And so how we spend our time is a great indication of what we are becoming both as humans and as eternal beings. If we waste our time on stuff that does not help us to grow into something better, or on stuff that simply does not matter, we are making our lives poor and wasting of the precious wealth we have been gifted. But if we spend it on things that help us to become something better than we were yesterday, and something that helps the world around us to grow and to flourish as well, then our lives will become rich.
Perhaps you have had the experience of missing something important because of work or a prior engagement, or from an unexpected occurrence such as a flat tire, a traffic jam, or missing the bus. We often like to be in control of our time and to be able to manage our schedules, and so these occurrences tend to be a big source of frustration in our lives. And yet in the broad scheme of things, these instances are small and few, and the vast majority of our time is in our control. However, few of us actually use our time wisely, instead allowing others to dictate it for us or to control it. Perhaps we are afraid of letting someone down or hurting their feelings, or of losing our jobs or ruining our friendships. But if we imagine our time spent in terms of costs, then spending it in ways that add value into our lives and the lives of our fellow man is of much more significance and worth than spending it watching hours of TV shows we have already seen, or in other mindless activities that simply bring us further from our spiritual selves.
Time is a valuable commodity. Society has created entire markets and venues for that are geared at making money off convincing us that we need to spend our time using their products, listening to their music, watching their shows, attending their games. But we have people who need and depend on us–families who would like to spend time with us, friends who need help, loved ones who could use someone to talk to, and selves who are in desperate need of solitude and spiritual nourishment. And time in which we learn or gain valuable insight, help another human being, or build up the positive in this world, is time well spent.
Do you love life? Then do not waste or squander the precious time made available to you. It is your time… and just as we need to be aware of how we spend our money, we need to be even more conscious and careful of the ways in which we spend our time. For we can always earn more money, but our time… that is a limited and precious resource.
Be more aware of the ways in which you are spending your time.
Questions to consider:
Why do we tend not to consider carefully how we spend our time? Why do we just “let” things happen?
In which ways could you make sure that you are spending most of your time wisely, in ways that are helpful to yourself and others?
How many people try to convince us that our time is best spent serving them and their purposes? Why do they do this?
For further thought:
“How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected, but time is gone forever.” ~ David Norris