Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

Running Out of Time

We’re careful about how we spend our money. And we’re careful about exhausting our energy reserves. We’re also careful about how we spend our time…or are we?

When I worked in the corporate world, I taught training sessions on time management. The components of time management in the business world are well known. Prioritizing, planning, and staying organized are all habits of an efficient person. And all for the goal of saving time.

But what are we saving it for? What if time isn’t a thing to be managed? What if the purpose of time is something else?

All too often, I’ve fallen into the trap of viewing life as a rat race, filled with things I have to do and crowding out the things I want to do. It’s so easy to forget that we get to do life together. It’s a privilege. And a joy.

Yes, we have responsibilities and jobs. Obligations and chores. But what if those duties are simply components of our life that provide the resources and abilities to do the things we want? To be with the people we want to be with?

Jobs and careers consume us. So we come home exhausted, only to face a never-ending to-do list. Worse yet, studies have shown that we spend less than 2 minutes a day in meaningful communication with the ones we love. I don’t know about you, but most days I feel as if I’m chasing the clock. Constantly running out of time.

It’s so easy to lose balance. To forget that work isn’t meant to consume us. To forget how important the people in our life are to us.

Until they’re not there anymore.

Time is a limited resource. Once it’s spent, it’s gone. Never to be reused. Never to be recycled. And never to be recovered.

Enjoy the time you have with the people you love. Relish the moments. Create memories to savor. Memories that will keep those people emotionally close even when they’re no longer physically close.

So pay attention to the prompting of the Holy Spirit when He nudges you to make that phone call. Meet that person for coffee or lunch. Take time to listen—really listen—to your spouse or your children instead of turning up the volume on the television.

Gratitude is my “one word” for this year. Be grateful for what you have and who you have. Prioritize the important over the urgent. People over phones. Face-to-face interactions over Facebook posts.

People aren’t perfect. Life isn’t perfect. And time is limited. The people in your life won’t always be there. Be grateful for the time you have with them…while you still have them.

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14 Comments

  1. Keith Wood

    Beautifully written,

  2. Bonnie Dorsey

    Ava, you always write from your heart. Made me realize how much I should have listened to my parents when they told about their growing up. I didn’t and now I wish I had. Love you my friend and praying.

  3. Jane Roach

    Thank you for another timely reminder of what life is really all about. The time I spent reading this blog is time well spent and invested in the rest of my day!

  4. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Jane. Your comment made me smile!

  5. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Keith and Bonnie!

  6. Paulette

    Timely blog for me Ava. I just finished reading “I’m proud of you” by Tim Madigan about his friendship with Mr. Rogers. Such a poignant memoir, I throughly enjoyed it. At one point Mr Rogers asked the author who he though was the most important person in the world, then answered his own question with “you are”! Whoever he was talking to at the moment was the most important person. That is certainly something we have lost in our distracting digital world. 😞

  7. Pat Weimer

    How very true. I so miss the time I spent with my Mom and Dad. I cherish the memories and times we did spend together but it was too short. So sad when you see families out to dinner together and see them all on their phones. We are missing that one on one time with our loved ones. Thank you for the reminder that we pay attention to the prompting of the The Holy Spirit to reach out to our loved ones. Ava, you are a blessing to me.

  8. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Paulette. What a great illustration!

  9. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Pat. Yes, so sad to see so many glued to their phones and ignoring the flesh-and-blood people right in front of them.

  10. Vicki Wickert

    Dear Ava, as I read your heartfelt message, I found
    Myself smiling, as I remember how precious our
    Times with you guys are and how invaluable time
    Well spent with dear ones truly is! Keeping you
    In prayer, much love, Vicki

  11. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Vicki. Yes, Real-life experiences with those who are special to us are memory-makers!

  12. Barbara Farenwald

    Very well said Ava. In this chaotic time we live, seeing so many not enjoying the precious time we do have and of couse we dont know when the clock stops……so happy to now “take the time” to spend with Mark, family, kids, grandkids, mom & friends. Life is precious…..
    Love your amazing reminders always and love you! So we must do lunch!

  13. Suzann Zoltner

    So well said Ava. Thank you for the reminder. I also get consumer with schedules, lists, and must-do’s. You are a blessing.

  14. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Suzann. You are, too!

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