Time has been weighing on my mind lately. Time — you know, that fleeting, mercurial essence we always think we can catch in our hands and hold for awhile, if we think of it at all.

Perhaps time is growing more precious as I age and see the hourglass running out of sand. Perhaps it’s because so many of the people close to me are facing their own mortality, some much sooner than they ever anticipated. In any case, time has become much more precious lately, and I think of how the expenditure might best be made to take advantage of all that’s left. For instance:

Take time to visit an elderly friend.

Take time to get that reunion planned for your family, many of whom live within a few miles that often take on the attributes of a cross-country trip in the midst of work and personal obligations and the minutia of merely living.

Take time to tell the people you love how much you care, and then show it by actually being someone they can count on.

Take time to experience the things that bring you joy.

Time.

How often have I planned to set out on a hunt for wildflowers and the beauty of God’s creation, yet let time slip away? How often have I failed to call and offer encouragement to someone because my “time” was spent scrolling in mindless zombie stares through social media or playing computer games? How often have I failed to take care of my body by feeding it properly and getting the proper rest, again because my “time” was squandered in the lesser things of life?

Life is fleeting. Don’t put off what gives joy today because you don’t have “time” to do it. Make the time.

Make time to tell your mom, dad, spouse, kids, brothers, sisters, friends that you love them. Call them up just to say, “Hi, I’m thinking of you today.” Give them a shoulder to cry on, and don’t be afraid to share your tears with them.

Make time to really relish that bowl of ice cream.

Make time to play with the dog, scratch the cat behind his ears, watch the bunnies and squirrels at play in your yard.

Make time to admire the blue of the sky, the lush green of the trees, or the blood red of this wonderful East Tennessee red clay mud where wildflowers bloom and blackberries grow.

Make time to stick your feet in the icy water of Little River, surrounded by the rocks and trees and mountains. Make time to watch the kids discover the same wonders you might have forgotten or grown too jaded to see; splash, and laugh as they do when your toes turn numb and the minnows tickle as they dart past.

Make time to serve others. It doesn’t take much. A smile, a kind word, a pat on the back — these can mean the world to someone who’s discouraged and losing hope. That one spark could be all a person needs to gain strength and push on.

Make time to rock a baby to sleep.

Make time to reach out to that person you love, tell them so and show them.

Make time to just sit, and think, and talk to God. Make time to listen to what He says in return.

I am reminded of Proverbs 27:1, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”

Enjoy now. Serve now.

Tomorrow might not come.

Contact Linda Braden Albert with story ideas at Lindas Inkyfingers@comcast.net.

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