Time waits for no-one

There is a saying that goes, “the quickest way to move backward in a fast-moving world is by standing still.” Time really does fly and sure does not wait for anyone. Twenty years ago I was in matric (grade 12 for the newbies). Time not only accumulates things but also has a sense of making us realise what we are or have been missing. So what have you accumulated or missed over these years?

It’s a question I continually ask myself, some people might phrase it as, “are you successful?” The word successful really is a loaded word and can mean so many things to so many people. Ultimately, success should be seen as, “are you the person you are meant to be?” But how do you know who you are meant to be? How do you really know, without any shadow of a doubt that you are on the right track to becoming that person?

I listened to a speaker at chapel last week who said something like this, “sandwiched between gifting and passion lies life’s purpose.” In other words, are you living a life out of your gifts, truly your gifts and talents and not other people’s expectations and desires that have been placed on you? And are you living out your passion, that which makes you jump out of bed each morning leaving you feeling fulfilled?

For me, 20 years later, I still struggle at times to get out of bed, and still do not live completely in my gifting, does that mean I am unsuccessful? I think, I am on the path to that reality and that makes me more successful than many people out there.

Ignorance might be bliss, but it robs you of the life’s journey’s experiences…

so get to know your gifting and get to know your passion

for therein lies…

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Busy? Me?

So, I haven’t blogged for a while, I might say that I’m busy, but when it comes down to actually penning it down on paper, then I can’t really call that being busy. But what exactly is being busy? A simple definition would be, “having a great deal to do.” So then it does explain the reality that if I had a great deal to do and there is nothing much to show for it then obviously I haven’t been doing a great deal much! So, then is that busyness or wasting time? But what is wasting time? A nice definition would be “Use or expend carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose”. But I know that what I have been doing has not been a carelessness of my time, energy or resources. So then my final question would be, “What have I been doing?”

I think, these questions only matter when there is a backlog of items to address, chores to be done, deadlines to meet and an endless list of “to do’s”. It is only when we reflect on these that these questions become pressing. So ultimately, you should be asking, “of what value do these lists of to do’s have to my personal well-being and if I don’t do them, what would the consequences be?”

So, for me…. let’s just say I will be needing to get busy, but like the cartoon below says, “I don’t have time to be this busy”.

Time is Power?

Something I alluded to in the previous post on “Time is Money” is the concept that Time is Power.

Now the most basic definition, according to wiki, of power is the rate at which energy is transferred, used, or transformed. Though the power I would like to refer to is not the mathematical definition but one that is philosophical, the power that we are more aware of and see on a daily basis. The definition of power as a measurement of an entity’s ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities.

I’ve noticed at work, as I’m sure many of you may have noticed, that deadlines are killers. If deadlines are not met then we can land ourselves into some serious trouble. What always irritates me of deadlines is how unreasonable most of them are. Surely the one who enforces deadlines should consider those who have to meet them. I mean what are the criteria for setting deadlines?

Do people set deadlines because they like the sound of a certain date? Are deadlines a convenience for the one who sets it? I mean, I want to go away for a week-end and therefore I want a deadline to be one week prior so that I can enjoy myself? Do we that have to meet deadlines even have a choice in the matter? I think in that type of scenario highlights a hierarchy, a structure of authority and power.

The person, or entity, that sets the deadline is the one with the power. Power over my time, power over my situation, and power over me. How do we release ourselves from such an entity that has such control? It does remind me of “The Matrix” where people are slaves and don’t even have a realisation of their bondage to the powers that be.

I guess in a similar light, I need to consider in my life, what are some of the deadlines that I face? The average lifespan is 70 years, and yet, the limited time that we have is enforced and abused by so many people who only considers what is best for them. How much of your time is really your own? How much of your time is really used for what is important?

Who ultimately is the one who has power over your time? Power over you? Maybe it’s time to be released from that, don’t you think?

So…. Who has the power?

Time is Money?

Back to the film “In Time.” The concept of time and its various aspects has really got me thinking and has me engaged in some strange questions about what does time really mean?

Today I want to challenge the “Time is Money” adage.

What does that mean? Time is money! I mean if we all have time, and we do, then why is money not a common denominator for all? Is money directly tied into how productive we are as people? If it is, then why do some of the most productive people on this earth still lack money? This type of scenario leads me to the reality that the value of our time is decided by others, due to the value of any commodity usually being decided by the populace (what they are willing to pay or not, and usually the seller adjusts the pricing of his commodity to satisfy the client), so who decides the value of another persons time? Is it the one whose time has more value than the next? I mean how did their time become more valuable than another in the first place?

Is money supposed to be understood as physical Rands and Cents (that is South African currency, if you not local). Does it mean that every second has a monetary value attached to it? If it is then does it mean we are squandering our wealth when we engaged in recreational activities? Is that the reason so many people can’t get their minds off work?

Is it a healthy thing to think of time as money? Is that what God really intended our time to be? Is it about how much money we can cram into every second and milk it for all its worth? Maybe, just maybe time really isn’t money but something much more valuable. What if the time we have is not about measuring or adding to the size of our bank accounts, but by measuring and adding to our existence with every second that we have? The sad thing is often times those seconds pass us by without us even blinking our eyes. Every second does count, but what is the value we attach to it? Did God create time to merely measure time, seasons, a beginning and end of our limited and finite lives here on earth? What if time here on earth was to expose us to something greater than amassing wealth or by drowning ourselves in misery due to the many lacks we have in life inflicted by the pressures of those who claim to posses the economic powers due to their time?

Time is not money. Time is a gift. Time is life. Time is existence. Time is now. And no amount of money can add or subtract any value from that. The question remains is, who adds and determines the value of your time?

So, what is your time worth?

What’s your time?

Last night my wife and I watched a film, not a really great one although it had all the elements to be awesome, I mean it starred Justin Timberlake, so how good can it be? Though I’m not here to critique the acting skills, but to talk about the subliminal messages that is sent throughout the film.

So what is the film “In Time” about?

Chris Weber, a film critic summarizes it quite well,

“In the near future, time is money…literally. It’s the new currency. Not only that, but everyone has been genetically engineered to stop aging when they turn 25. However, when they reach that age, they are only given a year’s worth of time. If you want to live longer, you’ve got to earn more time, either legally or illegally. The world has also been segregated into Time Zones, separating everyone according to their wealth and social class.”

Yes, I know it is an old question and it is as clichéd as it is corny but it will always be relevant. What are we doing with our time? What do we live for and how much time do we have?

If time is a commodity, then should we trade it? Save it? Spend it? Treasure it? I’m not sure how you view time and what your experience has been but it does boil down to the reality that time is limited. We are not meant to be immortal. Eventually the clock will strike zero.

If we are given just one day at a time to live, then how would we live it? Would we plan for our future or live our lives daily in the reality that we only have today? I mean is living each day like it was our last so contrary to the Scriptures? Why do we continually plot and plan and project and predict what our futures would be?

I’ve recently been speaking to a financial advisor and it has challenged me. Am I being responsible or am I just putting measures in place because I’m limiting my trust in God? Sure we can live for a long time, but there is just no guarantee. I’m not propagating a message of recklessness or an irresponsible lifestyle, Lord knows we do not subscribe to those realities. But sometimes we have so many safety nets in place that we are afraid all the time and will not take risks to fully and completely trust God and really enjoy our lives.

Must we wait for a terminal illness, or death, or retrenchment or any life-altering experience to realise how precious a commodity time is? I’m sure God is sitting in heaven and saying, “Don’t waste my time. Live it all. Die empty.”

Hence my question, if you are only given one day at a time, which is in fact all that we are given, how would you spend it?

What’s your time?

Don’t waste it!

Hear what Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.