There I was, standing in Disneyland’s Tomorrow Land just outside Space Mountain, holding my three year old son Wyatt in my arms watching the fireworks show at the end of a perfect day.
Our cheeks were pressed together as I listened to his sweet breath and felt his beating heart against mine. With every loud pop of the fireworks he clinched his arms around me a little tighter. Just precious.
At that moment I thought to myself, I better soak this up for all it’s worth because though it seems like time is standing still, I know this moment will be over before I know it. I thought, boy how I wish, in this instance, I could stop time.
Redeem The Time
However, I knew that obviously wasn’t possible. Time marches on, and no Cher, we can’t turn it back either. But I wasn’t going to let that moment slip by without a fight. I stepped outside of myself and took a mental and emotional snapshot that I will cherish for eternity.
You see, it’s true, we can’t stop time or turn it back, but – we can redeem it. The word redeem in this sense means: To gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.
The goal is to regain the time the world tries to suck from us by prioritizing and maximizing how we spend it. Instead of time controlling our lives we must control it. This sounds simple but it’s not easy.
So now that we’ve got that straight let’s ask the question, how do we actually redeem the time?
The answer is quite simple; we take charge of how we spend our time by prioritizing our time based on what’s important. Not what’s the most fun or instantly gratifying but only what’s supremely important.
Up until a few months ago I filled my time completely with worthwhile but not necessarily important activities. I ran from one activity to another pleasing everyone in my life because I could. I really hadn’t learned to say no but more importantly I didn’t want to say no. I thought if I could contribute, I should.
What I found is that I was wearing myself thin and not being the best at what is most important to me. Now, what’s most important to me is not necessarily what’s most important to you, though I’m sure we’ll share some commonalities.
My top priority is growing in my faith through study, fellowship, quiet time and practical application. This aspect of my life also extends to teaching my faith to my children so that one day they will make it their own.
Next on my list is quality time with my family whether going to the beach, playing catch, riding bikes or doing household chores. I realize that my children are growing up fast and they’re counting on me to invest in their lives now and to also equip them for adulthood.
Like most of the modern workforce I work more than the traditional 40 hours per week. However, I like what I do and most of the time it doesn’t seem like work. Sometimes I work late, weekends or take the occasional business trip. Nothing wrong with that. Just as long as my job doesn’t become my life. If it does, then I’ve got it backwards.
On that note, I’ll even go as far as to say that if we spend more time with our co-workers than our family we should find another way to earn a living. Yes this may translate into less income but again let’s remember the theme of this post; maximizing our time is the most important thing we can do for ourselves and our loved ones. We only get one life. And when we’re drawing our last breath I doubt any of us will be reminiscing about all the wonderful business trips we took.
Next I’ll address my responsibilities at church and in my community. I understand that I have an ecclesiastical duty to my church family and a civic duty to the community in which I live. But instead of being all things to all people I now only contribute what only I can contribute.
In other words, if someone else can contribute in an specific area, I’m okay with not contributing – even if I’m able. I’ve learned to limit my contribution in non-family activities. This has been a good thing. When my children are grown maybe then I can put a few more things back on my plate.
Just Say No
I say no most of the time to…
- Golf outings
- Boy’s nights out
- Excessive exercise
- Trivial semi-competitive games (Including video games – don’t get me started)
- Road trips without the family
- Many unknown activities that will come to me later but not in time for this post
You Can Do It!
I think you get the picture. Now, do this for yourself.
Prioritize your time without delay and I promise you will not regret it. You might even be thankful many years from now when you think of all the wonderful moments you created because you said yes to what was most important and no to what wasn’t.
What do you think? Possible, not possible? What moment in your life do you wish you had the power to push the pause button?
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