By Debra Whittington: Local columnist
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
— James 4:14-15
Have you ever said or been told, “I’ll be with you in a minute or just give me a second?” I believe all of us have, but it means different things to different people.
“I’ll do it when I get around to it,” is another common statement that is often used. In that case it means either we don’t intend to do it or we are merely putting other people off until it is convenient for us. It is like the mother asking the son to take out the garbage. She wants it done now and he doesn’t want to miss his television show.
People are bound by the limitations of time. How wonderful it would be if we had all the time in the world like the Lord. In 2 Peter 3:8 we read, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
The Lord has all the time in the world and yet he is patient and waiting for people to know and accept him.
On the other hand, humans have only 24 hours in a day to accomplish everything they need to do. On many days I get up and go in a rush all day and then wonder what happened to the day and what did I accomplish with it. I tell myself I have the next day to complete the things left undone. The next day I start the process all over again.
I admire people who use time wisely. They are so organized and get a great deal done each day. Although I studied many methods of organization and time management it comes down to the matter of prioritizing the things most important for that day.
I received an e-mail from a friend that puts a whole new perspective on time. The author was unknown, but the truths were so profound. Among the statements made were, “to realize the value of one second: ask a person who has survived an accident,” and “to realize the value of one minute: ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane” and finally “to realize the value of one month: ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.”
Statements like those have a way of putting time into perspective.
I have a friend going through her own health issues, but cares more for others and never complains about how she is feeling. I recently received a card from her that was so comforting and encouraging. The fact that she sent it despite her own problems made it that much more special. She knows how to put everything into their proper place.
Last Monday, my husband Mark proved once again that people are more important than anything else. I received a call from the hospital in Artesia telling me that my mom was a patient. The minute I told Mark, he stopped what he was doing and immediately got ready to go to Artesia. We spent almost a week in Artesia and not once did he mention all the work he had waiting. He showed his priorities through his action.
Giving our time is one of the most precious gifts we can give because there is no way to retrieve or reuse the time we give to help others in their time of need.
The author of Proverbs admonishes us to not put off helping others. Proverbs 3:27-28 says, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.”
I know a group of people who put this into practice. When one person is working on a project and needs help the others come to lend a hand. There is never any money exchanged, but they are paid in kindness and the opportunity to work together. They know that when they need help all they have to do is call.
Setting priorities with our time allows us to accomplish those things that are important. Even more so is putting people first in our lives, which brings abundant blessings. When we put people first we never have to look back with regret on what we could have done.
Debra Whittington is a resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at 461-3337.