Apparently I have been slowly murdering my husband for 35+ years…
“You’re killing this time-oriented man!”
We are very different, this man and I. He comes from a family of all boys. Everything is a competition and everyone is in this competition whether they want to be or not.
Like the driver in front of him. If we stop on our way to our destination, that guy that he just passed on the interstate will now take the lead.
And we are on vacation, so there is no deadline to meet or appointment to be missed.
I am a girl. I take longer to get ready. I have long hair and wear make up. My home is my job, so I have to unload/load the dishwasher, start the laundry and make the bed. He might turn off a few lights on his way to go sit in the truck and wait, but there is always something hovering on my to-do list, and if I walk out the door without such list, it will be because I felt rushed.
And I don’t like to feel rushed.
Truth is, I am too often running late.
There. I said it. I get up fairly early in the morning, so don’t think that the problem is one of laziness or procrastination. It’s just seems that no matter how I plan my day, things.happen.
Can’t find the keys. Throw one more load in the dryer. The phone rings. The dog needs to go out… again?!
There is always seems to be one more thing that needs to be done before I can walk out the door…
I know. That’s an excuse. But please forgive me, and try to understand that my intentions are good. I don’t like being late. I don’t plan to be late. I’ve even got 13 different times saved on my alarm. And I don’t even need one to wake up. Believe it or not, I am better than I used to be when I had four children at home and seemed to meet myself coming and going–but I still have that dog. And a conscience. And because I have it engrained in my child-like brain that hard work equals value, I seem to feel more guilty for not getting enough done in the day than I do when I show up later than I planned.
It is true that we all have the same number of hours in a day and each of us choose how we will spend the time that God has given us.
It’s just that sometimes I feel like I can never catch up, you know?
Truth is, I am learning to adjust my priorities and just.let.go. I want to let go of things that won’t really matter years from now–and cling to those things that will.
Like spending time with family: At the end of the day, what memories did you make today that you are grateful for? Some days my greatest accomplishment is just being there when one of my littles says, “Look, Nana!”
… and with God: He is waiting. You can read His words written for you and you can communicate directly with Him. He longs for you to know Him. Maybe you should thank Him for His patience while you’ve kept Him waiting all day…
Maybe it’s time to make that phone call: Reach out. Someone is dying to hear from you. Or maybe they are just dying inside and need someone to care. I’m not a big phone talker, but sometimes a text or email is not enough. You need to hear that other human’s voice.
… or write that letter: A lost art. Valuable words that, when written down seem to take on a more concrete meaning. A simple “Thinking of You” might just change someone’s day. I know I am surprised these days when I get anything but junk mail!
… or love my neighbor: How many opportunities do we pass by because we are just.not.looking. We are too busy. When was the last time you did something for someone–for no reason? Little things can make a big difference.
The list could go on and on, but the key is, PERSPECTIVE:
When my days come to an end and I enter eternity, what are the things I will be most grateful for? It won’t be things. It will be who we loved and who we served.
I have been to more funerals than I can count and have visited many a cemetery. The tombstones all have a common etching. The day they were born and the day they died–with a small dash in between.
What will you do with your dash?
Will you hurry through life to accomplish tasks, or will you measure your stride as you purposely maneuver through the day?
I don’t fault my husband for his time-oriented-ness. I need him to balance me out. I need to be reminded that it can be disrespectful of others’ time and inconsiderate when you make others wait. I know that my time is not more valuable than someone else–and quite possibly could hinder another’s trust in me if I fail to be prompt.
But he needs me, too.
He needs to see that sometimes lateness means that a person might have circumstances you are unaware of. Maybe they stopped to help someone in need. Maybe they lost something or were just delayed by divine appointment. Either way, kindness demands that I assume the best, not the worst in others.
And maybe–just maybe–you need a reminder that time is precious.