All the Time in the World
Imagine that tomorrow you awake to find $1,440 deposited into your bank account. That’s not enough to make you rich, but it’s a nice chunk of change. On the following morning — and the morning after that — you discover the same windfall again. After a week of such deposits you would have more than $10,000.
If you received this contribution each and every day for a year, you would have more than a half-million dollars at the end of 12 months. To quote Warren Buffett, “That’s enough money to do most anything you want, but not enough money to do nothing.”
Pause and think about the “most anything” you would do with that money. Ask yourself, “How would my life change? What would I do differently with that opportunity? What belated dreams and postponed goals could I then pursue?”
With these questions answered (or at least considered), realize that you receive such a deposit every day: Not in dollars, but minutes. Every day contains 1,440 minutes; every week more than 10,000; and every year more than half a million. These minutes are yours to spend as you will.
But most of us let our minutes and our days, far more precious than dollars, simply leak away. We show no intentionality, no focus. Failing to act deliberately, our lives are dictated by others, by circumstance, and the inevitable flow of the routine. Our days just “happen,” so that we get to the end of those days, and we are left to wonder, “What happened?” Our deposit accounts quietly erode away by daily withdrawals, with little to show for it.
Referencing one of Frederick Buechner’s best lines: “There is always the temptation to believe that we have all the time in the world, whereas the truth of it is, we do not. We have only this one life, and the choice of how we are going to live it must be our own choice to make, not one that we let the world or others make for us.”
There are some people who have no idea where they are going in life. Maybe they can be helped, maybe they can’t. But there are infinitely more people who have a picture in their minds of what they are after; what they hope life to be; how they hope to spend tomorrow — tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. They sit around thinking about it, but they never take the first concrete step to get there.
“Where there is no vision, people perish,” Proverbs says. Certainly so, but just as certain is Proverbs 21:5: “Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry only puts you further behind.”
Indeed, this could be the epitaph on many a gravestone: “Hurry and scurry.” There was plenty of activity, but no purpose. Already another year is half-finished, so if you are reading this, take heed: You have enough life and time to do most anything you want, but you do not have enough to do nothing.
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Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, speaker, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.org.