At our recent Angel Company Escape in San Antonio, I found myself wandering into a Starbucks during some free time. We do not have one in Salina, and so a ceremonial cafe mocha (with whipped cream!) is reserved for special occassions. There is something about the environment of most Starbucks that inspires me and summons me to sit down and write. This time, before I ordered, I purused the display of mugs and miscellaneous Valentine gifts. Instead of a classy mug or exotic coffee blend, I found a book! (Imagine that!) It is a small book written by two brothers, Daren & Daniel Simkin called The Traveler. I read the whole thing standing there at the display and purchased it with my cafe mocha.
It is a simple story with a good messege, but I fell in love with the words from one particular page. The story is about a young boy named Charlie, who decides to pack up all of his time.
"And pack up his time he did: starting with his big, bulky decades, then the round, squishy years, the square, mushy months, triangular, shiny weeks and raggedy days, tons of silky, smooth hours and crumpled-up minutes. Charlie squeezed in loads of itsy-bitsy seconds for the journey, too, even though they didn't seem to want to go. He closed his suitcase and pulled the straps tight."
I had never before thought to put characteristics to my time. I have struggled through the first month of this new year to chart out my time to include all the things that I want to accomplish in 2009. I am a list girl, revising it each night and earnestly trying to prioritize it in the order that it needs to get done. I had planned on making an organizational chart for the year so that I could plug certain goals and aspirations in, thereby hoping to stand a better chance of accomplishing them. So far, I have not had the time, but it is not because I have packed it away.
On the contrary, I have found that my heart is to give of my time. If a friend wants to share a 'smooth hour' over lunch, I always agree, having learned that it brings much joy to my day. My 'raggedy day' yesterday included a regular work day, a broken vehicle that needed to be towed, a sick child that needed to be taken to StatCare, a prescription that needed to be filled, and the delivery of a doctor's note to the restaurant where she works. I returned home at 8:15 p.m. tired and wondering when I was going to get the things done that were originally slated for last night. Though not fun, it is real life that just can not be scripted. I have spent two 'big, bulky decades' as a guardian for two special needs people who have no other family. Convenient? Not usually. Rewarding? Absolutely!
As squishy, mushy, crumpled, itsy-bitsy and raggedy as my time might look, I decided not to be embarrassed and pack it away. I will endeavor to spend it generously on people. My house may not be as clean as I like it and my family may not have the best home-cooked meals every night, but they do know that I will stop everything at any given time to spend time with them. There is no saving it. Children grow up and move away, loved ones pass away and not one of us is promised another day. I will spend all the time I can on those who are important to me, and on that which I believe God is whispering in my ear to do.
What about you? Are you spending or saving your time? Do you let yesterday use up too much of today? When was the last time you did something for the first time? As in other areas of life, I encourage you to not compare your life and times with others and to "take time to marvel at the wonders of life" (Shale Tavers). Whether it's in the middle of dishes, dessert, deserts or disasters, there is extra value assigned to our time when we see the treasures and learn the lessons!
Spending Time With You,