The True Value of Time

There is a popular saying in our culture, and particularly in the corporate world: Time is money.  I understand somewhat the root of this notion – in our post-industrial world, lost time is lost productivity, which translates to lost profits.  But it is also easy to lose proper perspective in life if it is only equated with a balance sheet.

I confess, it would be very easy for me to be a workaholic.  Throughout my school years and college, I pushed myself in my classes, to graduate early, to work and pay as much of my way as I could.  After college, being single, living alone, I could come and go as I pleased and generally enjoyed my work.  I still do.

But like many of my generation, and increasingly with those generations coming up after mine, there is a sense that we are missing something very important – we’ve lost something that makes us, well, less human.  Over the month of June, and through yesterday, I had ample reminders of the true value of time, with my retreat with the nuns in Menlo Park, and a visit with several family members, including one from my sister and her family that just wrapped up this morning.  I was reminded in the faces of my nieces and nephews.  In time spent creating new memories with my family.  And, naturally, in time spent in prayer and adoration throughout my days and in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

I am very close with my family and friends and as I think about what I’ll miss by being in the cloister, part of me aches.  But God, in His grace, has also reminded me countless times of what the gift of time on earth is meant to prepare us – eternity in heaven with Him.  And within the universal call to holiness received at baptism, He gifts each of us with a primary call of vocation, that is, the framework within which we are to grow in holiness.

Like a bride asked to leave her family to join her bridegroom, the aches of sacrifice are soothed with love, grace, faith and the sweet, growing knowledge of One who loves me and knows me so well.  When united in Him, we are never truly parted from our loved ones.  And by God’s grace, we may all be together again, forever, in His glorious presence!

The gift of time is just that – a gift.  It cannot be bought and once it’s gone, it’s gone.  But like all of God’s gifts, it can be shared or squandered.  Each moment God grants us, we are faced with a question: how will I spend this?  Will it be for His glory, or will I let it, with all its opportunities and possibilities, slip away?

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