Harry Chapin's best-known song is "Cats in the Cradle" from 1974, a song he wrote based on a poem his wife wrote about her first husband and his distant relationship with his father who was a New York politician. Although the song makes the hippies among us smile, it is a sad song about a dad who can't make time for his son and a son who grows up to be just like dad.
We don't get precious time back. Once it is spent, it is gone.
Psalm 90:12 says, "Teach us to realize the brevity of life so we may grow in wisdom." It is important that we learn how to manage our time wisely. Here are some things to consider in order to become wise stewards of our time:
1] Do not neglect the Source of your life. As we try to pack more and more into our lives, it is often our most important relationship that suffers a deficit -- our relationship with God. We need to set aside time with the Source of our lives. I hope my time set aside to meditate on the good news of Jesus Christ makes me better in my time with everyone else.
2] Do not neglect your most significant relationships. Making room for these special people requires work and planning, because in our busy world, time spent with each other won't just happen. I believe there is a biblical mandate for us to take care of those people God has place in our lives. I was amused the other day when I stopped by someone's house to see the dad answering the door in his Superman cape with his children dressed as Batman and Robin. We can't let these moments to spend meaningful time with each other pass us by!
3] Do not think you can have it all without paying a costly price. The American dream will steal your time; it will consume you. Your time with God and with your loved ones will suffer, because there is a high cost to "keeping up". In a 2008 study, I read that Americans were now packing the equivalent of 31 hours worth of activity into 24 hours each day because of technological advances. I have to wonder what the long-term effects of running such a deficit like that has on our lives. At what cost do we keep ourselves so busy?
"Teach us to realize the brevity of life so we may grow in wisdom."
The good news is we still have time. The clock is still ticking, and I'm still breathing. There is still time to re-orient ourselves to the Source of our life and to make room for our most significant relationships.
We don't get precious time back.