Where did the summer months go?
School has begun and I’m sure there are some mixed emotions within many families. There may be disappointment that summer is over, a certain joy for students to be reunited with their classmates, relief for parents that the children are back in school, etc. etc. For many of us, it seems the summer just flew by too quickly! Tempus fugit! (Time flies!)
What is it about our fast-paced life in which so many of us seem to be carried away? For me, it can sometimes be described like a riptide experience. We often go about our lives doing so many things until we reach a point when we can be over our heads and become overwhelmed and overpowered by various activities and demands. We may seem rushed—maybe even a bit out-of-control, at times. We may ask questions like: How did we get to this point? Where did the time go? Where did my life go?
When I was a child, it seemed that there was more time in the day. It’s funny how various perspectives in life can change! There have always been 24 hours in the day. Why did there seem to be longer days back then?
When I become recollected and reflective, I realize that time is one of the precious gifts that we have been given. We don’t know exactly how much time we have left in our lives, do we? How we spend those precious minutes, hours and days should have certain priorities. I suggest a few here:
· Take time for prayer each day. A life lived in prayer seems to be more manageable—especially when there are difficulties. I have found that when I take the time to pray, I am able to handle the day’s activities better and I find the necessary time to do what I need to do. When I push prayer aside, my days usually are more chaotic.
· Take time to worship God—at the very minimum, once a week at Mass. I am amazed that so many people find excuses why they can’t (or don’t) make it a priority to go to Mass. We need to be spiritually fed with the Word of God and the Holy Eucharist. If we love God, then this small portion of my weekly time needs to be spent with my fellow Catholic Christians in prayer and worship.
· Take time for the family. The people in our lives who should certainly be a priority when divvying up our time and attention are our family members. Sharing meals, regular conversation, family activities, and common prayer are good ways to spend family time.
· Take the time to stay healthy. Physical, spiritual and emotional health are all important considerations for a well-balanced person. Do I exercise? Do I eat right? What productive activity do I use to release stress? Do I have a spouse, companion or good friend who I can talk to and share what is happening in my life? Do I take time for my spiritual needs? (After all, I am made of body and soul!)
· Take the time to enjoy life. Everyone has different enjoyments in life. I have found that a walk on the beach, on the boardwalk or in a park can refresh the mind and uplift the spirit. A bicycle ride also helps me relax. I enjoy listening to music. The various wholesome activities that help to refresh and renew a person are certainly worth prioritizing.
Life’s journey when compared to eternity is simply a blink of an eye! Spend the time that you have remaining wisely, living life to the fullest!
Tempus Fugit, Momento Mori. (Time flies, remember death.)
Fr. Ed Namiotka