He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV
Each one of my children has taught me important lessons about life and love and faith. When I look at a certain photo of my daughter, I immediately think about how much courage she had to take this tremendous leap last fall. Then, I remember many other leaps of faith she’s taken in the past couple of years and my heart just soars.
I never want to get to a time in my life where I’m past the point of considering a new challenge, a different direction, and other leaps of faith. Though I may never jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet, I want to continue pushing myself to move into new and sometimes uncomfortable situations, just because it keeps me always on a learning curve. Which leads me to consider how I’m using my hours and days, even today.
Time—though each of us is given the exact same amount of it—some of us are better managers than others. Why is it that a few individuals seem to breeze through their hours and days accomplishing only a fraction of what they might have planned—if they planned at all—and it doesn’t bother them one iota? While others, the more conscientious types, take every single item on their to-do list and do not, cannot, and will not rest until every single entry is completed (and done with a vengeance, mind you). Could it be even the super responsible among us inwardly know there’s something more important than just getting stuff done and we’re angry about it, because we know it’s true and still aren’t willing to give the thought of changing (ourselves, that is) the time of day?
Sometimes knowledge without the courage to head in a different direction is like the incessant ticking of the nearest timepiece. Better late than never, sometimes it is best to call a timeout. Give it a rest. Stop and sit down. Close your eyes. Be silent. Be still. Then, take note. Begin to notice everything—movements and moments and steps and gestures—missing nothing—paying attention to everything.
When we’re unable to stop long enough for even this simple exercise, it should leave us wondering what’s really at stake here. Certainly, there’s more going on than running headlong through the day only to get things done. When we’re consumed by merely producing, we’re missing so much more and this much more is where real life is going on. Our excuse is always the same: There will be time enough for that later on—when the work slows down, when the kids are older, when my parents don’t need my help, when my health gets better, when the worst is over. And just when, exactly, will that be? In case we didn’t notice, there’s a never-ending list of “whens” waiting one after the other that keep moving up on our endless to-do list of excuses.
But if we’re honest—and this is the best news ever—there’s no time like the present. This precise moment is all we have. There’s no getting it back once we’ve spent it, or squandered it more likely by being busy, busy, busy people making our grand plans, believing we’re doing everything we can to achieve our best, when in fact, all this activity just might be the worst choice we’ve ever made.
Eventually, every one of us needs to take to task our assumptions about life and time and how we spend them both. There’s no telling what tomorrow may bring.
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What’s one thing you can do to rest?
by: Michele Howe
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Michele Howe is the author of twelve books for women and has published over 1600 articles, reviews, and curriculum to more than 100 different publications. Her articles and reviews have been published in Good Housekeeping, First For Women, Single Parent Family, Christian Single, and many other publications. Michele’s single parenting titles include Going It Alone and Still Going It Alone. After having undergone six shoulder surgeries, Michele saw the need for a women’s inspirational health-related book co-authored with her orthopedic surgeon titled, Burdens Do a Body Good: Meeting Life’s Challenges with Strength (and Soul), released in 2010 and from which Prescription for Life, their health, medical and surgical informational book, is based.