Wednesday, August 28, 2013

One Minute: Reflections on Time Guest Post


Welcome to our new guest post series about "time."  
How do we use it? Misuse it?  Many of us spend so much time complaining we don't have enough of it, but how often are we grateful for what we actually have?  It is a gift we receive every day...a fresh allotment.  But how will we spend it?  And what values shape how we use it?  As we reflect, may there be space to consider how and where we spend our precious seconds of this gift.


When I think about time, my thoughts turn to two of my favorite Bible verses:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1, ESV).

“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14b, ESV)

Yet I often wonder how I am spending my time. Am I using it wisely or am I wasting it? Am I living in the moment, dwelling in the past, or focusing too much on the future?  Do I have a proper perspective of time?

A few weeks ago, I stood at my kitchen window, admiring the beautiful red-gold hues of a morning sunrise. Although I have taken dozens of sunrise photos—many of them from my own front yard—I’m still waiting to capture that one special shot.  Sensing this might be the moment; I ran into the bedroom to grab my camera from the closet and rushed outside.

In the span of a minute, the colors had begun to fade. Though still lovely, the brilliant reddish gold had faded to a paler pink. Because I wasn’t prepared, a moment was lost forever.

Time is a precious gift. However, I think that too often, we take time for granted. Scripture tells us that God ordained all our days “before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16, NIV). Yet no one knows how long we have on this earth, therefore we need to be good stewards of the time we have.
Often, our perspective of time depends upon our circumstances. For someone awaiting the results of a medical test, one minute can seem like an eternity.

My husband and I experienced this in 1993.  A year prior, doctors diagnosed him with cancer. We thought the months of chemo had been successful, but on a Friday afternoon, we learned that blood work revealed an increase in his tumor markers. We had to wait until Monday before we knew the extent and location of the cancer.  Without a doubt, that weekend was the longest one of our lives. Each minute seemed to last a lifetime.

 Yet for the family of a child diagnosed with a terminal illness, one minute passes in a flash. Time becomes precious to them and they treasure every minute they have together.

It is sad that it often takes devastating news or a tragedy for us to appreciate life and to evaluate our priorities. I’m learning to cherish the moments—even when it seems a minute isn’t long enough. Even when it seems a minute lasts for an eternity.

Most of us live such busy lives and we never seem to have enough time. That is why it is a good idea to evaluate how we spend it. We need to prioritize. As wives, are we spending quality time with our husbands? For those of you who are mothers, are you investing time with your children? As employees, are we using our time on the job wisely? Most importantly, as Christians, are we spending daily time with the Savior—seeking Him and reading His word?

One minute is sixty seconds—no more, no less. Several years ago, I saw a video of the Beatles’ song, When I’m Sixty-four.  Toward the end, words flashed on the screen giving the number of minutes in sixty-four years and stating that one minute could be a very long time. The video then counted down the last sixty seconds of the song. I was amazed at how much the artist fit into one minute.

One minute, spent in silence, makes a difference when we take time to consider our words rather than retaliating in anger.

One minute can brighten a person’s day when we pause long enough to give someone an encouraging word.

One minute is more than enough time to tell someone you love them.              
                 
One minute spent in prayer can change our attitudes and set the course of our day. (I believe that we should spend longer than a minute praying, but it takes only thirty seconds to pray the Lord’s prayer and around forty-five seconds to recite Psalm 23.) Imagine then, what spending twenty, thirty, or sixty minutes in prayer and Bible study will do for our Spiritual growth.

The next time you don’t think you have enough hours in the day, slow down, cherish the moment, and remember—one minute can make a difference.


Joan Hall’s writing has appeared in a variety of on-line publications and in the book, Life Lessons From Teachers (available through Amazon). She has two devotions accepted for publication in the upcoming winter issue of The Secret Place. She is also a regular contributor to Splickety Magazine’s Lightning Blog.

An avid fiction enthusiast, Joan’s desire is to write stories that cause people to reflect upon living a simple life, strong family bonds, and faith in Christ.
Joan is married to John—a twenty year cancer survivor. They live in Texas and are active members of their church. They enjoy outdoor walks and bird watching, which enables Joan to pursue her love of nature photography. Connect with Joan at:



Linking with EmilyMichele and Jenifer today.

27 comments :

  1. Jen:

    I'm grateful for the opportunity to provide a guest post. I pray that all of us will be more mindful of how we spend our time. I often am guilty of wasting time.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  2. This is such a lovely and (dare I say) timely reflection. One minute feels too short to do anything meaningful in sometimes. Yet each one counts and they all add up to time well spent or wasted. Thank you for this great reminder, Joan. It helped slow down my thinking and changed my perspective today. Bless you! :) x

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    1. Joy, thank you for your sweet comment. Though it seems short, one minute can make a difference.

      Blessings!

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  3. Joan,

    Loved this post and need to share it. It will resonate with many. All of us are given the same amount of time each day. We get to choose how we will spend it. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Anne - you are right. It's how we choose to spend our time that matter. Thank you for your lovely comment.

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  4. So beautifully expressed and dead on the bulls eye for me right now. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. I'm in constant need of this reminder. One minute...

      Blessings!

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  5. So beautifully expressed and dead on the bulls eye for me right now. Thank you.

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  6. Joan...awesome post! And your gentle reminder was exactly what I needed to hear today...so thank you:-)

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    1. Thank you, Lorna. I also need to be reminded daily of this.

      Blessings!

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  8. Ah what a lovely piece to read!!! Such a powerful message! As soon as I started reading it, I was reminded of one of my favorite posts- that focuses on this very issue. May we discern every moment, what is worthy of Him.

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging comment, Chris. Oh that we would always be prayerful to discern each moment for His glory.

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  9. Joan, such beautiful words. I, too, love those verses about time.

    Jen, Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday! God bless!

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. I truly believe that there are seasons for all things and that God has placed each one of us in this time "for such a time as this."

      Blessings.

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  10. In a fast food society where we expect everything to happen instantly the value of stopping, even for one minute, is lost. We feel like we are wasting time, ironically, if we stop to "smell the roses." And yet our rate of stress-related illness is higher than almost anywhere in the world. Psalm 90:12 says "teach us to realize the brevity of life so that we may grow in wisdom" (NLT). Thank you, Joan, for a reminder that even a minute to re-group, pray, speak a word of encouragement can change the course of a day.

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    1. Gaby - you are so right. I love the verse you quoted. Lord, teach us to number our days!

      Blessings,
      Joan

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  11. I am trying to live more intentionally - to savor the minutes - some minutes I do well - some I lose. I have a son who had CAPD(Central Auditory Processing Disorder). One of the ways it affected him was in test-taking. If someone turned in a test before he did - the clock no longer made sense - and he would miss every answer from that point on - because he panicked. Our solution was to move his desk away from the test area and turn it to face the wall during the test so the countdown wouldn't mess with his time panic. Your post made me think of that - of that kind of count down. Would I have panic or would I have faith! What a story of overcoming and faith, Joan:) So glad you read your sweet voice!

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    1. It's funny how a secular song and video made such a big impact on me. Although I first saw it many years ago, that "one minute" demo stayed with me. I have to remind myself of being conscious of the minutes - the time we have. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

      Blessings!

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  12. Hi Joan,

    I loved reading your thoughtful post. Thanks so much.

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    1. Thank you for reading, Anita and many blessings to you.

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  13. Hi Joan! Such a lovely post. You make your point about time, while telling us all how you learned just how precious it is. So happy to see that your husband is a survivor! What about the child you mentioned?

    God has given you a lot to deal with in your life, and here you are encouraging all of us. I think he is smiling on you today :)
    Ceil

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  14. Ceil - We are so thankful to God for my husband's healing (20 years cancer free this year.) The little child's ordeal is still ongoing. A month ago, doctors gave her 2-8 weeks to live, but she is still alive and touching the lives of those around her. (She is the granddaughter of a friend of mine). You can read her story here: http://atypicalmiracle.com/

    Thank you so much for your kind words.

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  15. What a great reminder and a well written post reflecting about time. I did laugh about the Beatles song - I really do turn 64 next year. Where did the time go? I actually feel more like 34. anyway glad to read in the comments about your hubby's healing and will pray for the family of the little child. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. Jean, I've been a Beatles fan most of my life. :) I believe there are calendar years and "real age". The old saying "you're as old as you feel" is true.

    Thank you for your prayers for little Phoebe (the child I referred to in the post). She is holding on and is a blessing to all who come in contact with her.

    Blessings!

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  17. Hi Joan! What a beautiful perspective on time! So true, may we be ever so careful to not waste the precious time He has given us! Your post brings to mind Ephesians 5:15-16..."look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil". Thanks so much for sharing! Thanks to you also, Jen, for linking up my friend! May the both of you have a blessed week!

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  18. What a wonderful new guest post series you are doing Jen! Love it!!

    Joan, thank you for your lovely post. Ever since returning from a mission trip to Guatemala, God really has me in this place of slowing down to appreciate every moment. It's a wonderful place to be. Thank you for your encouraging words.

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