You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while (time) and then vanishes. (James 4:14/  NIV, parenthesis added)

How do you value your most important investment? Not your financial portfolio or your properties – your time.

While heating water to make some green ginger tea, I tried to sneak in a few kitchen chores. As the seconds ticked down on the microwave, I quickly placed dirty dishes in the dishwasher, wiped down the counters, and straightened a few knickknacks. Soon, I heard the “ding” that announced the heating time for the water was over. Feeling smug that I had beaten time, I reached for the microwave door.

Then it hit me – what would I do with my final minutes of life? What final act or words would I try to sneak in if I could watch the minutes and seconds of my life count down? Hurriedly tidying up the house so not to leave it a mess for someone else doesn’t seem like a wise use of those fleeting minutes. Nor does squeezing in another hour of overtime at work. Rushing through quick calls with my children, friends, and family also seems to lack meaningful significance.

Time as a Commodity

Time is the only commodity we have that is constantly declining in value. All other commodities may fluctuate in value – higher some days, lower on others. But our available time decreases with each passing moment. No matter how we invest it, we cannot create more. It is still tick-tocking into eternity past at a steady and persistent pace. We treasure all other commodities and use them to our advantage – should we not view this precious commodity the same?

Instead of waiting until time is almost gone, then rushing around to quickly do what seems significant and urgent at that moment, it would seem more sensible to genuinely cherish each moment we have. With each person who shares that moment with us. To pull every last bit of purpose out of that moment so we have no regrets as our time winds down.

Though we are assured our time is decreasing, none of us know when it will run out. Instead of just “putting in time” going about the motions of our monotonous daily routine, let’s make the conscious decision to choose to embrace life fully and live every moment, in that moment, as if it were our last.

Before we know it, we will hear eternity’s “ding” announcing the end of our time. Let’s use it wisely and on purpose.

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