There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace (Ecc 3:1-8).
A few days ago one of my classmates passed away. He wasn’t someone that I talked to all the time, but I knew him. We took classes together. We were in the band together. We graduated together. We talked on social media with each other. So, while his transition certainly hasn’t affected me the way it has those closest to him, it did indeed affect me. See this isn’t some old guy that’s lived a long time. This is a guy that wasn’t even 40 yet…just like me. Preparing to join my classmates in saying farewell to a classmate isn’t something I should be doing just months after our 20 year class reunion. It doesn’t seem fair; it doesn’t seem right. Yet it’s our current reality. It made me cognizant of my own mortality. It made me reflective. What time is it?
1. It’s Time to Forgive
So often we hold on to grudges and bad feelings because we feel hurt or slighted by people. It’s increasingly difficult if the person is someone that we love. We waste precious time avoiding these people and harboring bad thoughts. We live in a position of angst where they’re concerned. Sometimes these people don’t even really realize that we have a problem with them. Unfortunately, this only makes us angrier because how could they not know that they’ve hurt me?! Forgiveness isn’t for the other person. Forgiveness is for you. Forgiveness is for your peace. Forgiveness is for your joy. The inability to forgive others weighs you down. The inability to forgive others steals your peace. The inability to forgive others poisons you. So, today choose to be well. Choose to live in peace. Choose to live in joy. Choose to forgive those who have wronged you. Forgive them for what they did or didn’t do. Forgive them for what they said or didn’t say…to you or about you. Forgive, not for their benefit, but for yours.
2. It’s Time to Keep in Touch
Unfortunately, technology and social media have ruined so many of us, including me. We feel as if we’re keeping in touch because we like each other’s pictures and posts on Instagram and Facebook. We feel connected because we follow your moves on Twitter. We trade in phone conversations and face to face interaction for emails and texts and FaceTime. We sit at dinner tables with each other with our electronic devices in our hands responding to likes and comments rather than interacting with each other. We decide we’re going to go to the next family or class reunion. We’ll make that call, tomorrow. We’ll catch the next Girls Night Out. We’ll be there the next time the fellas get together to watch the game. We’ll go to Homecoming next year. We’ll go to church next week. Commit to keeping in contact with those you love. Commit to enjoying your day to day interaction with those you love. Commit to making time to make time for those you love. Add them to your agenda today. Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. In the words of The Winans, “your tomorrow could very well be here today.” Whether we choose to accept it or not, life is filled with swift transition; don’t miss the opportunity to keep in contact with those you care about.
3. It’s Time to Do What You’ve Been Putting Off
Many times we go through life putting things on the back burner. We treat life and time as if it’s infinite. It’s time to start doing what you can, while you can. If I had more time, I’d do this. If I had more money, I’d do that. Life is meant to be lived. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Stop living with the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” attitude. “I wish I had…” isn’t the life you want to lead. Sometimes you don’t have the means to do the things that you want to do. Adjust your plans. Stop not doing things because of what people will say. Stop not doing things because of fear. You don’t want to have regrets about anything at any time. Be you. Do you. Live your life to the fullest. Enjoy each and every moment. Your last time may be your last time. So live….today, tomorrow and always.
4. It’s Time to Be Concerned About Your Health
Part of living the best life you can is living the healthiest life that you can. Now certainly your health can’t protect you from everything, but it can fend off a lot of things. The old “I’ve gotta die of something, so I may as well die happy” is hogwash. Incorporate exercise in your life. Go to a doctor other than when you’re sick. Get your screenings done. Live a life of prevention rather than reaction. If you can’t be concerned about your health for yourself, be concerned about your health for others. Don’t leave your husband or wife to live out life without you. Don’t leave your children to grow up without you. Don’t leave your parents to bury their child. Take the time to take care of your health, physically and mentally.
5. It’s Time to Love
Loving and living complement each other like peanut butter and jelly. Be THAT person. Be the person that everyone wonders why you’re always smiling. Be the person that everyone wonders what you have to be so happy about. Be the person that brightens up a room with your presence alone. Say you love with your words. Show you love with your actions. Make that “just checking on you” call to family and friends. Send that “thinking about you” text. Drop a card in the mail to your older relatives who don’t have social media, email or know how to text. Give that hug to the visitor sitting in front of you at church. Pay for the car behind you in the drive-thru. Assist that elderly couple trying to put their groceries in the car. Love those who love you. Love those who hate you. Love those who don’t know you. Spread love to everyone, everywhere you go.
Using my time wisely,