Since December 21, the day’s are getting longer. Well, actually a day is still 24 hours, but the daylight is lasting longer.
I am entering my second year of partial retirement. As I look longingly for the season of spring I realized I am in the autumn of my years. Both of my parents have died. People in my Sunday school class are grandparents and great-grandparents. Friends my age have severe health issues.
And I know my days are numbered.
When I was younger I read a lot about time management. I collected articles and went to seminars to learn how to plan my day and work my plan. I wanted to use my time as wisely as possible which essentially meant getting as much done as possible. And I had a lot to do.
Looking back I am not so sure all that management information helped me become a better person. I may have accomplished tasks, but did I impact lives? Did I invest in people, in eternal things?
What am I doing with the rest of this life of mine? I question how I spend my time as I watch the clock ticking away. Sunrise. Sunset.
Each new day is mine to choose how I will use it. I can waste it on worry, anger, impatience, fighting silly battles that have no eternal value. Or I can use it for good, speak encouraging words, stand for what’s right, look for the gifts of God and be thankful. I can practice joy today or I can just coast along with whatever emotions invade me. I can learn to be content.
That takes practice. That’s what I tell my piano students to do. Practice, practice, practice. It. Is.The. Only. Way.To. Get. Better. At anything.
What I do today is important. Time is a gift and it is valuable. I need to keep practicing using it to the best of my ability. That does not necessarily mean completing set number of tasks and checking them off my list.
I pray with the Psalmist: Teach me, Lord, to number my days so that I can get a heart of wisdom.
And I take Paul’s words to heart:
So be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don’t be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good.
The days can be difficult. They can pull me away from my purpose. They can side track me if I am not carefully looking at this day and praying to be wise in how I choose to use it.
Life is a gift, every single day of it. I will give account for what I did with my days. I don’t want to regret the price I paid for this day.