Benjamin Franklin wrote “You may delay, but time will not.” I had never read this quote before tonight. As I sat on the computer I was curious what some of the great thinkers of our past had said regarding time. When I came across this quote it was surrounded by a sea of pretentious and superficially deep quotes. Some portraying time as a lover, others as an enemy, but this stood out in it’s simplicity, we may delay but time will not. Time is neither an enemy or a friend, simply put time is time and it is moving us forward to our final end. What we do with it is what matters.
So I began to reflect on my own life and my own use of time. I can see how many would view time as an enemy, I can easily, but that is just my inherit desire to blame others rather than to face the fact that I truly am in charge of my own life and that many times it would probably be better if that were not the case. In the accounting of my own life to date I have found that I have been a huge waster of time. Spending it like it came from an endless fountain that I never had to worry about running dry. Why do today what you can do tomorrow. That could almost be a mantra for my life. But what if tomorrow never comes? What do I do then? Will my list of things that I have put off for a day, will those matter? Will I have regretted not getting to some things sooner? What will happen on that day, my last day? Will the things I valued in my life still matter? Or will I find that I have in fact wasted time and desperately try to get it back.
With the sudden death of my mom, I was struck by the fragility of life. That we could be here one minute and then simply gone the next. But even with her death I was shielded by the armor of arrogance, an arrogance that comes with being relatively young. My mind was able to cope by saying “well you are a good 30 years younger than she was, there is still time” So my deep meaningful insight into life and my own mortality was cut short by this notion that I didn’t have to think about this things today, I could do it tomorrow. But then my armor was removed. My arrogance snatched away by a cruel twist of fate. (I take comfort in knowing that no one is going to take the time to read this so I have no fear in writing the truth.) To hear that I was sick, and that I have a disease that could kill me made me suddenly not want to put off those thoughts about life and mortality. I suddenly had a deep unquenchable desire to exam every facet of my life. I have found that for much of my life it has gone unexamined. I had put off asking my self big questions because they didn’t seemed like they mattered at the time. But they matter now, at least to me.
One of the first things I tried to do was to write a bucket list. Surely with the possibility of an earlier exit form this world looming on my shoulders I would be able to come up with a list of things that I would want to do. But to no avail. In my time I have traveled the world, jumped out of planes, served my country, seen and done incredible things. I was satisfied there. But something was still bothering me. What scared me the most about death. Why do I feel like if I died tomorrow I would still feel unfulfilled? And then revelation, I haven’t been missing out on activities to do in life but I have been missing out on LOVE. I am not saying that I myself am hurting for love because I have been loved incredibly by a lot of people but I realized I have not loved enough. There are still words of love on my heart that I have yet to proclaim to people. I still have more of my heart to give. I had found the source of my incompleteness and it was the fact that my heart was still very much complete. Jesus gave all that he had to others. He is the one true example of self-donation, of self oblation. Jesus in fact gave it all and he gave it all the time. My examined life shows me that I give some, some times,but only if its convenient for me. Only if it wont cost me anything. Simply put I am selfish. I am nothing like Jesus and that is what is eating at me. Jesus said “It is finished” because when he died his work here was done. I can only say that “It is just started” I feel like I have truly just started to understand the game and can play it better but now I face a race against time. A race to pour myself as much as I can. To truly love as I should have been loving a long time ago. For me now is the time to stop holding back, to truly start living as this day will be my last, to tell myself that there is no longer putting off anything for tomorrow because tomorrow may in fact not come. I want to look back on my life on that last day and proclaim as Jesus did that it is finished, that I will have poured out my life in love of others and have no regrets. So here’s to Love and making every day count.