Are you Investing Time or Spending it?
“Time is a Non-Renewable Resource – Invest it Wisely!”
“Before We Can Be Gentle With Others, First, We Must Be Gentle With Ourselves!”
I attend conferences with some regularity. A year or so ago, my heart was arrested as the opening main platform speaker, in his comments, said he and his colleagues were delighted to be spending time with us, their guests. Spending time? Words have power. Would it not have been more correct to state that they were delighted to be investing time with us?
Investing on the one hand implies, that at the end of the discourse, discussion, transaction or process, that there will be more than there was at the beginning. On the other hand, spending, implies that there will be less, a spend down at the other end. Investing time is always better than spending time! At the next break, I sensitively but clearly brought this to the attention of the speaker. He graciously both got and received it, vowing to be more careful in his choice of words going forward.
Regardless of our station in life, our hearts should be overwhelmed with the power and potential of investing time twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year, beginning with us:
- Spiritually. Regardless of one’s spiritual foundation and how you relate, be it Lord, Allah, Universe, God and the list goes on almost ad infinitum, the Divine most surely loves us more deeply than mere words can express and earnestly desires to have a caring personal relationship with us. WOW. The Author of Life, of Grace, of Healing and talk about the guiding of our steps – a GPS on Steroids.
- Physically. We may be fearfully and wonderfully made, but we also are entrusted with the responsibility of servicing these amazing bodies. Just like any piece of sophisticated machinery (and our physical creation stands on the shoulders of all others), they too must be serviced or they will most assuredly over time, break down.
- Emotionally.“Until We First Control Our Emotions, We’re Incapable of Controlling Our Lives!” I could invest the rest of today speaking to this theme but suffice it to say, that developing the habit of responding to challenging moments and not reacting to them, goes a very long way. What’s so empowering about this, is that no one can force you to respond or act one second earlier than you’re ready and prepared to do so. Man, that’s self- empowerment.
Recently, I had the great privilege of investing six days in British Columbia with two of my kids, Nathan and Jonas, their wives, Nancy and Kelly and my treasured grand-children, Roxy, Issy, Kingston and Sophia. For me (and I hope for them also), it was an investment with an immeasurable return on so many levels. I will forever recall in my heart the precious nuggets that spontaneously emerged, like when Roxy glared at me as I was humming a Rod Stewart tune and told me “Grandpa. You have a horrible voice and if you keep that up,” I’m going to suck on this pen!” I stopped at once. There were too many to recount here but be assured, I have in my heart precious moments invested with each of them. I’m dedicated to investing at least a week every year with my priceless family.
As for me, I’m just beginning to get a grasp on the significance of investing versus spending time. There are those who “got it” eons ago and still vigorously and whole-heatedly practice it. People like:
- My wife Fran who tirelessly has poured her life into making life better for the Divine’s four legged angels and continues to do so, notwithstanding recent medical challenges.
- Wil Conley, who unceasingly steps up to the plate to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate the Divine has brought and still brings across her path, amidst the physical pain she has known for years.
- Jack Janelle’s waving to all those strangers he passes while in his car or on his bike, signaling to them that they matter, that he sees their humanity. What a wonderful investing of time.
As we draw to a close here, please allow me to share with you some additional insights regarding this theme:
- Investing can so very subtly change to spending when we’re not mindful. It’s vitally important as we begin to discipline our mind and form new habits, that we choose to be present – in the NOW!
- There is a Last Time for all things, so we ought to approach every opportunity to invest in ourselves and others as the last. It very well may be.
- Time invested should always be measured one healing and helping heartbeat at a time, not by the life-draining and self-serving ticking of the second-hand of a clock.
- When we’re truly investing ourselves there is no fear, because we understand that a loving Universe will cause some of the seeds we’ve planted to grow, thereby replenishing what we’ve invested in others, whereas, spending begets fear. It’s accompanied with the expectation of loss and the concern that there may be no more.
In the United States, the mantra of one of the candidates for President is “Make America Great Again!” Well, the greatness of America, now or in the future, as well as the greatness of any other nation, will be precisely parallel to the extent her people understand and demonstrate what it truly means to invest time, first in themselves and then in others.
PLEASE INVEST IN OTHERS BY SHARING THIS. THANK YOU!