• Barb Lownsbury

Time’s Value

Time is the great equalizer. All of us, no matter who we are, have only 24 hours to a day. The richest of the rich can’t buy another hour, no matter what price they would pay. The poorest of poor have the same number of hours in a day as anyone else. And none of us know the allotment of time we’ve each been given. Time is a precious commodity never returned.

Time is my greatest gift. Since I know it’s finite and will soon be gone, I try to use it as wisely as I know how. It hasn’t always been this way. I have had seasons where I’ve martyred my time, grinding through periods of feeling desperately unhappy, but unwilling to do anything about it because I either felt like I needed to be strong, even to my own personal detriment, or because I didn’t value my own needs and self-worth. I have squandered it, wasted it, been lazy with it, and luxuriated in it. But where I have landed is to treat time with deep care and respect, intentionally asking God lead me in how I should spend it, and with whom. It’s made all the difference.

Once you’re an adult, you always have the power to choose how you will spend your time. There’s a Tim McGraw song that talks about sky-diving, rocky mountain climbing, and going 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu. It sounds great in theory (well, maybe not the bull riding!), but how often do you carve out time to do the things that fill you? When you look at your life right now in this moment, are you making choices that 10 years from now you will look back at and smile about—even if for you that meant riding a bull named Fumanchu? Are you allowing others to monopolize your time in a way that’s unhealthy, asking for more than you are able to give and not being appreciative of what is given? Or are you being selfish with your time, always making everything about you? Are you being stingy and giving it all to a job that on your death bed can’t come to hold your hand, gaze into your eyes and remind you that you are loved? Or are you floating through it, letting it pass by without thought? Believe me, I’ve done all of the above!

The Bible puts it this way: “What, after all, is your life? It is like a puff of smoke, visible for a little while and then dissolving into thin air,” (James 4:14), and later, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,” (Ephesians 5:15). Sometimes we know the way God wants us to go, but we’re afraid to let go of our control and simply trust His path for us is best. Yet passionate, fulfilled living comes when we step out into the unknown. In my experience, life is at its richest when we take steps of faith, whether it’s a baby step forward or a giant leap. When we’re willing to let go and trust God with our limited time, He begins to show up in the most remarkable ways!

My own “passionate leap” for this month will be to take a brief hiatus from The Dented Fender blog. Each week I will still post the most beloved, highest read posts to give that dose of encouragement we all need. But I feel like God is calling me to really hunker down and spend some time alone with Him, and some quality time with my family. It will be a month of kitchen remodeling, writing, lots of laughter, and making memories. I will travel, take a personal retreat, and wait expectantly for God to guide me toward next steps. I’m looking forward to it!

I want to encourage you today. Be intentional about your time! Refuse to settle for anything less than seeking out God’s direction for your path and then actually following His direction. He’s the only one who knows how to take you through the gut wrenching, challenging times in a way that can actually make you better for the process. He’s the only one that can discern if turning in one direction or another will be a fantastic journey or an epic fail. Make your time count. There’s a quote that says, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” I would change that to say, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is when God’s your pilot, the journey will be remarkable.”

For Further Thought: Do you let God direct your path? Have you spent time asking Him to take control of your personal journey? If not, I encourage you to do so this week. And if you already have, take some special time this week to thank God for the ways He’s protected and guided you on along the way.

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