Bucket List 2016 has been penned and re-penned a couple of times. A list of meaningful, exciting, and even educational things made the list, and of course that year-after-year goal of getting healthier was #1. It’s always #1 – year after year after year.
Why is it that I have no problem crossing off the fun things I want to do, but repeatedly fail at the least fun, but the most important thing? The very thing that could give me more time.
The truth is, I’m selfish with my time. I don’t want to do the hard work of working out, and taking the time to prepare a healthy meal, or maybe even spend the few extra dollars it may cost me to eat healthier than the on-the-go, unhealthy, short-term satisfying foods in a box, or handed to me at the drive-through windows of fast food joints between work and home.
Unexpectedly winding up in the hospital recently landed me an opportunity to realize that if I do not get that same yearly bucket list goal item checked off soon, there may be no “time” left for the fun things in life. Ironically (or not so ironically), I had been praying that God would give me a fresh determination to really make it happen – that He’d wake me up early, and that I would look forward to going to the gym and actually enjoy a good, hard workout. I had been going on my days off, but I knew I could do better, and eat healthier. Winding up in the ER unexpectedly and feeling pretty lousy, my thoughts went to my mismanagement of a year’s worth of time in 2015, and how I had committed this time last year to get fit and healthy.
I had failed. Again.
I should know better. I’m a nurse.
But, I’m not only talking about knowing better from a health perspective. I’m talking about knowing better from a TIME perspective.
We only get so much time, and nobody who has ever lived their life out on planet earth has known the number of days they would live. Some people live until they are 84; others only until they are 10 or 12 years old. So, we tend to live out each of our days assuming that tomorrow will come, next week will come, next year will come. (I’ve already decided I am going to be 52 pounds lighter on January 1, 2017). But, how do I know I’ll be here in June? or even tomorrow?
I take care of people who threaten their doctors with statements like, “If you let me die, I’ll haunt you!”
I have other patients who flaunt their wealth, their well-known name, their credentials, and their VIP status in order to get better care than the patient next to them – as if their stuff entitles them to more time.
None of our bank accounts are alike. Our credentials are all different. Some of us have lots of stuff; some have very little. Some live in enormous houses in gated communities, others in trailer parks. But the one thing we all have in common is that NONE of us know how much time we have in our time accounts.
It doesn’t matter how much you have donated, how many hours you have clocked at the local soup kitchen, what your reputation is, how popular or well-known you are, or how much money you have in the bank. When your time is up, it’s up. You can’t purchase more time, borrow more time, or trade anything in for more time. You can’t threaten anyone into giving you more time, or convince a physician that you are entitled to more time.
I’ve yet to hear a dying patient ask to see their last bank statement, or see a photo of their mansion. They all say the same thing. They wish they had more time.
It seems to be a word that the Lord keeps bringing to me in just these first five days of 2016. I’ve not been spending mine wisely. I have no idea how much of it I have left. Neither do you.
So this year, my bucket list will still have some fun stuff on it. But I intend to use my time much more wisely, both with how I spend it, and who I spend it with. I have wasted too much time worrying what others think of me, when at the end of the day, what God thinks about me is truly all that matters. I’ve wasted too much time trying to maintain relationships that are non-edifying and unhealthy, taking away time I could have spent nurturing the precious relationships that deserve my attention and time.
But it’s a whole new year, and I have a feeling 2016 is going to be incredible 😉
What about you? Is some of your time carelessly, or dare I say foolishly, wasted where it ought not be? I hope that you too, will reinvest it toward more meaningful, healthy, and eternal relationships and activities that matter the most when our time is up.
Thank you, to my dear friend Edna, for sharing this scripture with me today. Thanks for always letting me share where I’m at in my faith journey, for your wisdom, and for always pointing me to the Cross. I love you.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
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