One valuable way to look at our life is to view living as a shopping spree to the ultimate store. This shop has everything for sale . . . expertise on a musical instrument, a mansion in the best neighborhood, a prestigious career or a loving relationship with our spouse or child. There is only one condition – at this marketplace we can only buy things with time.
Contrary to the world of money where some have a little and some have a lot, we’re all equally given twenty-four hours a day. The only variable is we don’t know how much time we have before we die. So, time is limited. It is not possible for any of us to be so rich in time that we can buy all we desire. So there are vital choices to be made.
One day after taking a tour of a friend’s lavish house, my husband asked me what my dream house would look like. I had a hard time coming up with an answer.
“When I was young I used to dream about what I wanted my home to feel like,” I answered. “I guess I never got around to dreaming about what it would look like.”
Family relationships are like bank accounts; it’s important to make more deposits than withdrawals. It takes maturity and wisdom to define success in terms of the quality of our home life instead of money, career or status. Spending our time wisely requires that we carefully evaluate our choices each day and clearly differentiate between wise investments and unnecessary expenses. Should I read a book to my child or close one more deal at the office? Should I take a walk with my husband or go to another meeting down at the church? Time spent on people always brings a greater return than time spent on things.
We all daily hear that quiet voice who tells us to slow down and savor our relationships at home. Our best investment advisor is and always will be our heart. When we listen to that inner voice and spend our time accordingly we will always have an excellent return on time well spent.
One of the blessings of growing older is that we have the benefit of looking back on our life and evaluating how we’ve spent our time and whether it was a wise investment. The problem is that we often don’t have the time to go back and invest differently. Our mistakes or wise choices have been compounding and it becomes more difficult to change their direction.
So, it is imperative that we begin today to view time as our most precious commodity. If we treasure our time more than our money, we will be a wiser steward of our most important and sacred trust – our relationship with God, self, family and friends. We’re all on a shopping trip in the ultimate store. What do we really want to buy? How much time are we willing to spend?