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Time can feel like an eternity depending on the circumstances in which you find yourself. When engaging in a meaningful conversation, you may lose track of time; but managing each second of intensifying pain while waiting on your dental appointment can feel like an eternity.

The time between birthdays as a child can seem like forever; yet those same 365 days seem to fly by in a flash after adulthood sets in. Today is my mother-in-law’s eightieth birthday. The Bible teaches us to think of time as short. Psalm 90:12 say,s “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” A heart of wisdom will say there is just enough time for me to fulfill the ministry that God put me on this earth to do. Wisdom is knowing that God has given me only enough time to do what He planned for me to do. He won't waste a minute of my life, but how many minutes do I waste not focusing on what this life is really about?

Working through the grief of losing someone you love can cause time to feel foreign. After almost three months of living without our beloved husband and father, my children and I agreed that it feels like eternity. This experience causes me to be more mindful of time. Time passes whether if feels like an eternity or merely a breath. It is all the same. The time we have is all we have. If we knew how much each of us had exactly, it would probably cause us to waste it more. The Bible tells us that we should think of time and feel the reality of its limits so that we live wisely. Accept that time offers limits and opportunities. Be mindful of time.

I admire the way Brian’s parents experience time. They too have become more mindful of time and have hearts of wisdom as they spend the time God has given them on the earth. Though both of them have health challenges, they have outlived many of their friends. They spend their time in one another’s company looking for people with whom they can share a slice of grapefruit or a friendly conversation. One way that they keep their hearts set on wisdom as they number their days is the way they say goodbye to each day they live. Together they sing the hymn “What a Day that will Be.” They sing every verse. The chorus goes:

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

When they finish their hymn, Brian’s dad says “See you later alligator,” and Brian’s mom replies“ In a while crocodile”. Then they go off to bed. It’s like a compline service saying goodbye to the day that has passed.

The key to keeping time from becoming a chronic condition to be endured is to see it as a prerequisite to eternity. When you get this reality down you begin to live with a heart of wisdom and time becomes a gift from the giver of life who has carefully marked out the time each one of us will be given on this earth. The focus should not be on how much time you have, but how you use the time you have.

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