Years ago, a friend shared an observation about the demand for time in our lives; “we have as much time as we need for the matters that are important in our lives.”
At the time, I heard it as a cynical commentary on the gap between a group of individuals saying something was important only to use a lack of time as an excuse for never spending time on the “important.”
I have come to appreciate his observation as a statement of fact. No matter how much time we have, our actions express our priorities. There are plenty of demands on our time – personal and corporate commitments, dreams and aspirations, and endless to-do tasks, mostly of our own making. As I consider the statements left by my behaviors, I find myself wrestling with the gap between my dreams and reality.
We love being happy. Too often I forget that I need to reflect on what makes me happy from the inside out. I am intimately familiar with the optics of happiness, especially as they played out over the past few weeks. What is not so easy to articulate is the areas of my life I have dedicated myself to that bring sustainable happiness. How much time did I spend on happiness that endures? 5% of my time? For sure. 50% of my time? Doubtful.
When I focus on the best within, good things happen without. It can seem tedious at the time, but even now, it feels so good! Taking the time to talk to a friend that needs a listening ear, always good in the larger story. Filling the gaps with small progress steps that help others; can be tedious, always leaves me with a sense of accomplishment.
When I gift myself time on external beauty and truth, life is richer. The psalmist shared a secret that makes sense when one approaches it with an open, listening, and quiet mind. “God’s works are so great, worth a lifetime of study – endless enjoyment!” (Psalm 111.02)
Today is a window that can gift us with more.