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This Gift Called Time
by Elizabeth Hale
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I think one of my all time favorite movies has got to be "Steel Magnolias". I don't know what it is about this film, but I have watched it at least fifty times, and I am looking forward to seeing it again sometime soon.

One of my favorite lines in the movie is spoken by the character played by Dolly Parton. She is talking to Darryl Hannah's character about time.

She says, "Time marches on. Eventually you realize it's marching across your face!". What a great line and it's so true.

Now I know women worry a lot about wrinkles and circles under their eyes. They worry about the million ways they begin to shape-shift, caused by everything from childbirth, to weight gain or loss, to the simple act of aging in itself. But women aren't alone in this--I know a lot of men who worry and fret over these things too.

"The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old." (Proverbs 20:29 NIV) If gray hair is so glorious, why do so many of us spend so much time and money covering it up? Young men may be very strong physically, but would you older guys trade the things you've learned with time just to regain some of that strength? Or you women? Would you really go back and say, trade places with your daughters? After all you've learned and been shown?

A lot of people say they would love to go back if they could take the knowledge they now possess back with them. I wouldn't even do it then.

No, I feel I've earned my years. Not only have I earned them, but they are a blessing to me. Because you see, each day is a gift, each passing year is a gift. I think often of my young niece who was only gifted with sixteen years. Such a short period of time. But the things that girl accomplished in her very limited time--I could live another forty six years and I'm not entirely sure I could catch up with her. Because she lived so fully, so arms-wide-open, embracing all the things God placed in her path so joyfully.

Her mother, in her grief, asked the preacher, "Why did she die? She was a good person. I know others who aren't as good as she was, and yet, they are still here. Why?" Now, this lady was in pain. Her comment sounds so--harsh. But it was a question asked in anguish. She was just trying to put an impossible puzzle back together, trying desperately to make those pieces fit.

The preacher responded, "God called her home. He was finished with the plan He had for her. He isn't finished with the rest of us yet."

None of us know how far along we are on the planned path God made for us. Some of us are just beginning, others are closer to the goal. It doesn't matter. Our time to go home is coming. We know where we are going. That's all that matters. A life well lived is a life that was used to serve God, no matter how short, or long it is. I want to hear my Lord say to me one glorious day, "Welcome home, child. Well-done, my good and faithful servant!" What a day to look forward to! I'm excited about it. But I'm also excited about the life I have here too. It was given to me for a reason. We're here with a purpose and a plan and One who goes with us. I don't care how insignificant you feel you are. You count. I count. We all count. God made us. How could we not? How could we ever call ourselves insignificant? Because we matter to Him, we definitely matter!

In the meantime, while you're staring in that mirror, counting how many hairs fell out overnight,or how long you have before you're going to have to cover up all that glorious gray hair again, or counting how many new wrinkles you aquired while you snoozed, or studying yourself in an effort to figure out how that body part that was over there just the other day got over here today, thank God for another new day, full of all sorts of possibilities and opportunities to serve Him and those around you.

Time spent living is a gift. Use it wisely.

And be thankful for the days you have.

Read more articles by Elizabeth Hale or search for other articles by topic below.

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Member Comments
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Jounda LaMance 29 Oct 2006
Sister! Great article! Good reminder for us all - to appreciate what we have been given!

A lot of people say they would love to go back if they could take the knowledge they now possess back with them. I wouldn't even do it then. Me either!! Everything happened for a reason and a purpose and God has had a plan all along - even when I couldn't figure it out - He knew!! Thank God He did!! Good job sis! God bless, Jounda

Bessie Flint 22 Oct 2006
Elizabeth, So right.... time is precious, Our time here is limited and we do not know when our time may be up. The next minute we may wake up in eternity. We Need to stay ready! I am no fan of television, I do not watch it at all. But I am familiar with the movie you spoke about. Bessie p.s. (LOL means ... laughing out loud ) unless I am wrong and if so , someone can straighten me out. LOL


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