by J. Austin Bennett
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J. Austin Bennett
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
How often we put it off ‘til tomorrow. That old procrastination habit is hard to break. I know of one man who put off the chance to spend some time with his father for many years. His father asked, more than once, but the son was always too busy. He and his dad didn’t really travel on the same paths.
I feel surrounded by people, many of them Christians, who plod in lockstep through life. The ruts are just that, ruts – but they are comfortable because we know them. We have traveled the same ones for many years. Everyone has dreams of what they would like to do and a few even make plans, but something comes up. The plans are interrupted and laid aside “for a while”.
Dr. Charles Stanley once preached a very memorable sermon on the difference between “URGENT” and “IMPORTANT”. We are constantly assailed by outside influences that distract us because, to someone else, “This is important!” You’ve heard it before and more than once. That meeting that you attended when you skipped your son’s final little league game or the business trip that took you away from your daughter’s recital. Do you remember the vacation you planned for almost a year? Remember the frustrated look of disappointment on your wife’s face when you hurriedly explained why you couldn’t go?
Where are all the meetings, deals and mandatory orientations now? Do you even recall the conversations that took place, those supposedly vital changes that were made in some document now long obscured by the passage of time?
I can tell you some things you don’t remember. You can’t recall the game winning RBI that your son drove in that night. YOU WEREN’T THERE! You didn’t see the sudden panic stricken face of your little girl when she missed a note and then courageously recovered to finish amidst the applause in her first public appearance. YOU WEREN’T THERE! And neither you nor the bride of your youth who loved you so well and so long were there to share the memory together of that sunset over the beach. You will never get the chance now. The kids are grown, she’s gone to her final rest and the time is gone too.
That business of your own will never materialize. The book you always told your dream girl about since before you married was never written. The two of you never did go snorkeling in the blue waters of Bimini.
A famous statesman of ancient Rome was asked, “Why would you begin the study of Greek at the age of eighty?”
His answer, “Because eighty is the youngest age I have.”
Those plans, the dreams, the time spent in the company of those we love, THEY ARE IMPORTANT! The rest is just urgent and soon forgotten. The memories that you will cherish until you leave this earth, - PRICELESS!
So what are you waiting for? Get going. Don’t wait until eighty is the youngest age you have.
That guy who never really got to spend time with his dad . . . . . I won’t now. My father passed away about fifteen years ago.
“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe
J. Austin Bennett Copyright © 2006 Use with credit.
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Thanks for your critique of my article "LIFE AFTER THE EMPTY NEXT." I appreciate it very much. I enjoyed your article Titled TIME as well. It is so true. Our time with family is so important. That's why I have to disagree with your statement that we have "some time on our hands now." With five grandsons, we are busier, and happier, than ever.
Another thought provoking and soul searching article that makes us stop and think. Thank you. Thomas