Friday, October 3, 2014
Time Keeps Ticking
My dad had back surgery last week.
The Sunday before, we gathered at my parent's home for dinner. Dad sat and explained the surgery. How they would open his stomach, push his organs aside and work on his spine. They would put everything back and sew him up. Then, after turning him over, they would open his back and work on him from there.
He explained this rather casually. I'm sure he'd heard it so much and was used to it. For me, I was shocked. It seemed so incredibly invasive. I know he needs it, he's been in chronic pain for a very long time. But it just seemed like so much.
I went in to see him after the surgery was over. I stood next to my sister and looked at my father. He was pale and frail. The man who had carried me on his shoulders as a child, provided for us, led us in family prayer, and seemed to have an answer for anything, had been reduced to laying on a bed, his breathing labored, eyes closed against the pain.
Time can be cruel. It beats us down physically and steals from our minds. Bodies that were once vibrant and strong are reduced and bent, as if we're reaching for the grave.
But, time is also a blessing. With time, we gain knowledge, wisdom and precious memories. Things that confused or confounded us early in life become simple and easy. Perspectives change. Understanding replaces fear.
When we feel like our lives are restricted--by financial circumstances, marital status, where we live, our families--we always have a choice of what we do with our time. But, one thing we don't know is how much time is in our life bank. We mostly live as though there is an endless supply. Maybe if we could see the balance we would be more careful. I know I would. For so long I was casual with my time. Not thinking much about how I spent it or wasted it.
I am coming to understand the precious commodity of time. Though I'm not very good at budgeting it. As a result, my priorities have suffered. I'm trying to get better. I'm trying to find a place in my day for writing and for family. (And exercise, ugh.) That may be a good goal for this next year of my life. Because I don't want to look back and think I squandered what I was given.
*Have any tips on how you manage your time??