Happy New Year! It’s 2016! And it’s already three days old.
We all say that time flies. But truly it goes no faster for one than for another. Regardless of status, color or creed, each one of us has the same 24-hour day.
C.S. Lewis says: “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”
No one has devised a way to stop time or to make it go faster.
Motivational speaker Denis Waitley writes: “Time is an equal-opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. You can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much you’ve wasted in the past you still have an entire tomorrow.”
Time is given to us, and we have the freedom to use it or waste it as we choose. However, once it’s gone, we can never get it back. And, yet, we take it for granted as if our time will never end. But it does. We just don’t know when. Time travels on winged feet.
I recently heard a wise piece of advice: “Watch or you might miss it.”
We are distracted. There is too much out there that catches our fancy, and, unfortunately, we focus on things that eventually consume all our time and attention.
We all look forward to days off, to precious weekends, but we remain breathlessly on call for the next deal, for an opinion or a decision, for a meeting that can’t wait. Our phones and gadgets have become soul-less taskmasters that dictate the pace of our life.
Absurd but typical
My friend tells the story of taking her 10-year-old grandson to the park and his first question was “Is there WiFi?” Absurd, yes, but typical.
We no longer have time for one-on-one encounters. I think texting is great and convenient, but it has taken the place of conversation. It cannot replace the joy of hearing someone say: “I love you” or “I’m sorry.”
Don’t get me wrong. I love that we can Google everything. Wikipedia is my friend. But you can’t feel the warmth of a baby’s breath on your face on Instagram. And I find it difficult to settle for “the next best thing.”
I remember being young and getting lost in my reveries, wondering about things and people, remembering sweet moments and building castles in the air. I still do that. The net can’t weave any daydreams for me.
It is sad to think that we have forgotten to look around us. When was the last time you were awed by a sunset and took a picture of it with your heart? Have you ever wished upon a star or meditated on the incredibly beautiful colors and symmetry of a butterfly’s wings?
Are we missing the splendor of God’s majesty? Could it be that we have become oblivious to His sweet and quiet whisper and forgotten Who put the blush on a rose?
Is it possible that we have become numb to the beauty that surrounds us because our senses are riveted on a device, touted as the “latest, fastest model with more features, with better access, fine-tuned for your needs, in high-fashion colors, and it fits in the palm of your hand”?
There is nothing wrong with having the newest and the best if you can afford it, but to be attached to it 24/7? Isn’t that a little much? What are we missing?
This being a new year, I thought I would ask some people what they plan to change in 2016.
At a dinner the other night, I was surprised and heartened by a young man’s reply.
“I want to have a real relationship. I want to reach out to friends and family, have long conversations with them. Last year I spent my days and nights buried in the Internet. Much of it was work-related, but I stayed on. It’s time to “break away”.”
We laughed. But I could tell he meant it. All the while we chatted, he didn’t once bring out his phone.
In the news the other day was the story of a young man who died on Christmas Day when he fell off a 60-foot cliff in California because he had his eyes on his electronic device as he walked. He realized too late that he had strayed too close to the edge.
I know a few people who still text and drive. Unfortunately I am related to some of them. Please!
Let’s do it
I came across this timely piece posted for Christmas on “Womanity,” a blog site of sorts started by one of my dearest friends in Hawaii. I know she won’t mind my offering it as my admonition to all of us for the New Year.
From “Lessons Learned in Life,” here’s a to-do list for 2016.
End a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a love letter.
Share some treasure.
Give a soft answer. Keep a promise. Find the time.
Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy.
Listen. Apologize. Try to understand.
Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else.
Be kind; be gentle. Appreciate.
Laugh a little. Laugh a little more.
Express your gratitude.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Welcome a stranger.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of Earth.
Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it yet once again.