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Friday, September 29, 2006

Looking back on time

When we look at a clock face we see something that is not tangible. We see time. How long till we need to be somewhere. A unit of measurement that marks some responsibility yet to come. When we look at a clock from behind we see a tangible thing; a mechanism that measures intangible time.

When we look into the future of our lives we see intangible possibilities and dreams. When we look backwards we see compromises, missed opportunities and often times regret. We can also see tangible things acquired, and accomplishments and dreams realized. The Egyptians created a mechanism to measure continuous time way back. It was powered by water drips. Life on this planet has never been the same. The clock has been tick-toking away creating the pressures of life ever since. I have a favorite saying that goes " if it was not for the last minute, nothing would get done." The last minute is so powerful. The magnitude of things that get done within moments of that last tick of the clock. That is probably why the Egyptians made the clock, they had some big projects to get done. Life, however, is a different story isn't it? Our last minute will not afford us the opportunity to finish anything. It just comes, and what is done is done. It is this last minute that creates fear and a lot of emotional stress for some. They treat time like money. They squander it all away until it is to late to really purchase anything of value. Minutes are like pennies. One does not get you much. We need a stack of them to really put together something grand.

Or what a minute, maybe minutes are not that fleeting after all. How long does it take to smile at someone? How long does it take to ask the right question? Or wink? Or bend down and pick something up for someone? There is 60 seconds in a minute. A good bull ride last only 8 seconds. There are 1440 minutes in a day. I can not tell you how I will use mine tomorrow, but I can tell you what I did with mine looking back. And, I am pretty sure you can do the same.

Unlike money I can not earn more time. I have been given a certain allotment and I have no idea how much that is. I can only try and spend my time the best I can figure out how too. So, what am I buying with my time? material things that will be forgotten as soon as I am? Or am I buying intangible things that will last in the hearts of those I leave behind? When we look back on time, we soon realize that history records those who contributed to society some how, good or bad. They spent their time impacting the lives around them, one way or another. Greatness is not measured by personal accomplishments, but by accomplishments that measured a person. Time is more interested in us then we are interested in it. It is watching us. Counting our every moment, measuring us as if it will hold us accountable in the end. Are we spending time, or is time spending us? either way, I want to be spent on valuable moments or spend valuable moments. The trick is what is of value for me to spend my time on.

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