I was a sophomore in high school…
My parents had taken me to a specialist in Amarillo, Texas to have my eyes examined. I was excited about the prospects of getting some new glasses. While in the process of getting my eyes examined, the doctor casually asked, “Loren, what kind of glasses would you like to have?”
I hurriedly responded, “I want some glasses that will let me see into the future!”
My response to the doctor’s question obviously took him by surprise. After a few brief moments of reflection, he responded by saying, “Loren, I don’t think you really want that kind of glasses.”
And now, in the words of Paul Harvey, comes the rest of the story. A little over three months after my eye appointment, my parents shared with me that Dr. Murphy and his business partner had been killed in a plane crash. Seems they were flying in a small plane between Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas on a business trip. They got caught in a bad thunderstorm and lightning struck their plane. It crashed and both were killed upon impact.
We’ve all heard such disturbing stories. One time it involves a young life snuffed out at an early age – what a waste. On another occasion, it involves a talented person in their professional prime – what a shame. Another instance involves a person of senior age who has just retired after working long and hard so many years – so sad.
We obviously can’t go through life worrying and wondering if some unknown tragedy might befall us on any given day… however, there is also something sobering about one year ending and another beginning.
At the end of the every year, we probably say and often hear, “I can’t believe this year is already over.” We regularly hear things like “My how time flies,” or “Where did all the time go?”
If you listen carefully to all the comments we make or hear about time, most of us indicate by our words that we don’t have enough time and that it goes by faster than we can comprehend.
However, time moves at the same speed now as it always has. We all have the exact same amount of time each day. We all have the same number of hours, minutes and seconds. Yet some of us are very frugal with them and others waste them. Some seem to get a lot accomplished and others seemingly just spin their wheels – going nowhere fast.
As I have reflected on this phenomenon in my own life, I have concluded that it all boils down to the choices we make or don’t make. We all have the freedom to choose, but we don’t have the freedom to choose the consequences. In short, if we make “good” choices, good things normally happen. If we make “bad” choices, we can expect bad results.
Regardless of age, gender or pedigree, not one of us knows when our time here on planet Earth is up. However, I for one consider each day a present, and that is why it’s called the “present.” We need to unwrap the gift carefully, cherish it, use it fully, wisely and invest it in ways that will benefit others and make you proud as you look in retrospect at your life.
I have personally reached that point in life where I can talk (occasionally) about the so-called “good ol’ days.” However, I want to encourage you to make an honest effort in 2017 to manage your time so you and others can get the most benefit from it.
In the book Wisdom of the Ages, we are exhorted to live “purposefully, worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent) people.” In other words, make the most of your time; take advantage of every opportunity – your time is not an endless resource. SEIZE THE DAY!
If you need a little kick-start, you might begin by asking yourself a few simple questions:
• Am I making the most of my time?
• Am I letting circumstances and people control my destiny?
• Am I satisfied with my choices – most of the time?
• How often do I say, “I don’t know where the time goes”?
• Are you seizing each day – at least the majority?
• Am I using my days wisely or wasting them?
Loren Simmonds has been a resident of Lynnwood for 35 years. He served on the Lynnwood City Council for 16 years and is currently a member of the Lynnwood Civil Service Commission. Loren works as a consultant, writer, speaker and trainer. He is currently a member of the Lynnwood Parks and Recreation Foundation.