Bob Tamasy: The Time of Your Life

Monday, January 13, 2014 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

We sometimes hear people exclaim, “I’m having the time of my life!” I’ve probably said that myself a time or two, but what does it really mean?

Figuratively it refers to having much enjoyment, maybe more than we can ever remember. But when have you heard someone say, “I’m not having the time of my life”? In reality, like it or not, “the time of our life” is now, this very moment. What happened even one second ago is already locked into the past, and we can’t live in the future – until it arrives in the present, at which time it ceases to be the future, strangely enough.

Not to get too philosophical, but time is important to all of us. And as we get older, we learn to value time even more since there’s more of it behind us and less of it ahead of us in this life. When we were children, time seemed to move at a snail’s pace, especially when awaiting a special event, like summer vacation or Christmas. Now it seems to pass at racetrack speed.

In the newspaper business, I found time often defined by deadlines, getting articles written, photos taken and pages designed on time for going to press. Time literally was money, with presses idling and well-paid pressmen poised to print the publication. So we all felt the pressure of time.

When I moved into the business world I was introduced to “time management,” which is a misnomer. We can’t manage time any more than we can manage the wind. Unlike saving money or storing food for a future emergency, time can’t be set aside for later consumption. Time comes and goes with relentless precision, one second, one minute, one hour at a time.

Although we can’t control or slow time’s passage, we can determine how our time is used. We can set priorities, determining which things must be done and distinguishing those from other things that might be nice to do, but aren’t essential. As Oswald Chambers would say, conceding “good is the enemy of the best.” Or put another way, distinguishing the important from the tyrannical urgent.

In our leisure hours we can read thought-provoking books, play challenging games, and engage in stimulating conversations. Or we can fritter away minutes and hours watching mindless, meaningless TV programming or listen to continual radio talk show chatter, our minds becoming sponges for media clutter. We can pursue a productive hobby, participate in regular exercise, and nurture our spiritual life. Or we can squander time by eating and drinking more than we need, sleeping more than we should, and spending more than we ought.

We also can “manage time” by cherishing opportunities we have with loved ones, recognizing those can’t be reclaimed at some later date. I suspect when beloved friends and family members pass away, a part of our grieving is regret over “wouldas, shouldas and couldas” we lost.

God, who created time, speaks of it a lot in the Scriptures. Psalm 90:12, for example, suggests we ask God to “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” If you knew today – or this week – were your last, would you continue with your plans for this day?

Ecclesiastes 3:1 declares, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Many of the things we purpose to do, those activities we spend much time planning, are good. But when’s the best time for pursuing them? And when should we stop doing some of the things that have been take up too much of our time?

And Ephesians 5:16 speaks of “making the most of your time (redeeming it), because the days are evil.” Time, as they say, has a stealthy habit of slipping away when we’re not paying attention. Then we wish wistfully, “If only I had more time.”

Even in a clock, watch or calendar shop, we can’t purchase or acquire more time. But we can “manage” it by appreciating the time we have and utilizing it, better yet – investing it – in ways that will pay dividends both immediate and long-term.

We’re still early in the new year. It would be great if instead of bemoaning at year end, “Where has the time gone?” we could smile and think, “I know exactly where the time has gone. And I believe it’s been well-spent.” It’s good to stop and smell the roses, as long as we don’t become consumed by the weeds.

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



AMG International Celebrates 75th Anniversary On Nov. 9

AMG International will be celebrating 75 years of God’s faithfulness on  Thursday, Nov. 9 , from  6:45-8:45 p.m.  at the Chattanooga Convention Center.    The keynote speaker will be Dr. Wayne Pederson, global ambassador for Reach Beyond.   Organizers said, "We will also hear from ministry leaders from around the world as we celebrate ... (click for more)

Mitch McClure Will Speak On "Happy, Happy, Happy!" On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "Happy, Happy, Happy!"  in the  10:30 a.m.  service on  Sunday . This sermon is part of a new sermon series designed to demonstrate how everyone can find real life in the person of Jesus Christ.  Each  Sunday  at  9:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

$125 Million County School Building Plan Includes Shifting CSLA To Tyner Middle; Combining Tyner High/Middle; New Harrison Elementary, New East Hamilton Middle

Hamilton County School officials on Thursday unveiled a $125 million building plan that includes moving the Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts to the current Tyner Middle School, which will undergo a major renovation. Tyner Middle will move across the street into Tyner High School. Both Tyner buildings have been under-utilized for a number of years. There will also be ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Committee Says Pulling Away From County Schools Is "Feasible"

After eight months of investigating the viability of Signal Mountain establishing a separate school district, a committee of six has determined that it is feasible and would meet the goal of improving the education provided to students. The committee was also tasked with identifying obstacles and if possible to find ways to overcome them.  Results of the report were presented ... (click for more)

The Deer Decline At Enterprise South Nature Park

There are now 11 fewer deer to see at Enterprise Nature Park. The hunters snuck another one in secretly so as not to cause controversy.   I go to that park three or four times a week, and haven't seen any deer for months, and I used to see them all the time. They had to put out "salt licks" to attract deer from surrounding areas outside the park. Then they killed them ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: At Last! New Schools

In this me-me-me-only-me world of today, we-we-we-finally got a thrilling $125 million facility plan for the Hamilton County Department of Education on Thursday night. The School Board unanimously approved a well-thought-out “first Band-Aid” that will provide a new elementary school in Harrison, middle schools in East Hamilton and Howard, and a quite-satisfactory answer to move ... (click for more)