Running Out of Time
Most of this winter I have been waiting for a nice bed of snow to develop so I could go cross-country skiing. Sixty acres of woods lie just across the road from our house, and the owner gave me permission a long time ago to enter his land for my personal recreation. I’ve done that many times over the years. In warmer weather, I can head through the trails with our dog and enjoy the beauty of nature all around not bothered by other human beings.
The weather did not cooperate very well, so far. We have had snow that soon turned to mush as warmer days followed too quickly. This week we’ve had several days that each added a few more inches of crisp light snow, layer upon layer. And it has stayed cold. I was going to go out today, but after taking our new dog for a walk, the bitter wind blowing at 15 degrees made it less than inviting. So maybe I’ll go skiing tomorrow.
But I might be running out of time. Perhaps I am kidding myself. Last year I went skiing a couple times and found myself running out of breath unexpectedly. Perhaps you already know, it turned out I needed heart surgery, which was accomplished last May. Now I’m just a little more picky about my choice of weather. There are a few more weeks of winter, but maybe my best time is today. I wonder.
Another reason I might be running out of time is that the owner of acreage across the road died last month. I’m hoping his family isn’t making plans for those woods that will keep me from enjoying them. But it’s out of my hands. Perhaps I am running out of time just as that neighbor was running out of time.
I have so many other things I really want to do, like write a few words to pique my readers’ curiosity or provoke some conversation. And everything takes time. One other thing that is really important to me is spending time with those I love, starting with my wife. She patiently puts up with my intense devotion to obscure projects like reading about string theory, something I will never understand, or trying to fix the water softener that was giving us trouble a month ago.
The fact is, all the time I invested trying to fix that thing turned out to be a waste. Even though I took it apart five or six times, lubricated the parts just right, and eliminated every reason why it might malfunction. But in the end I had to give up and order a new one. The old nineteen year old water softener had run out of time, and I ran out of options.
The most important thing, however, is that when I’m finished writing this I’m going to go spend this evening with my sweetheart, because it’s the day after Valentines Day. We had a nice evening out last night, but why waste this evening? I’m not going to run out of time today. I’m going to use it to show love to someone. That’s one way I will never be running out of time. I can probably go out skiing tomorrow. And if I can’t, it’s alright, because I used my time well today.
I wrote the above yesterday. Today is a bright sunny day around 29 degrees, a beautiful day for XC skiing. So I made use of my time well, today, too. Thank you, Lord.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (TNIV)
Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15–16 (NRSV)
© 2020 Stanley Hagemeyer