What is time? Time is life. When time runs out it means we’re dead. As long as we’re alive we have time. Time is the gift for the living.
What do we mean then, when we say – “I have no time?” or “I’ll try to find time/make time…” If we’re alive then we have time. So perhaps what we’re really expressing when we say we have no time for something, is that at this moment in time, this particular matter isn’t important enough to us, to find the time for. Or at least it isn’t significant enough to find the time for, compared to all the other matters that are taking up our time at this moment.
Suppose you get a phone call one morning from a friend asking if you’d like to join her son’s birthday party at noon. You’re initial reaction based on all your present responsibilities are “Sorry I’d really love to join, but I simply don’t have the time…” Then a moment later you get another call from your sister, who just came into town for the day, asking if you’d like to go eat out for lunch with her, as she’d love to spend some quality time with you. Your heart melts as you joyfully accept.
So what happened here? Just one moment ago you had no time for a noon birthday party and now you’re going out for lunch with your sister? Truthfully, it’s simple. The birthday party was insignificant to you compared to all your present responsibilities, whereas spending time with your sister who happened to come into town for the day, was way more important to you then attending to all your other chores at that time. Your only hope at that point is that you won’t bump into your friend at the bagel shop after you just turned down her invitation due to your busy schedule!
So how do we determine what’s truly important enough to us to find the time for? One word – Outcome!
Think – what will the outcome be if I find the time to; exercise… spent quality time with my family…work on building a business etc. When you can truly envision the fruits of your labor, you will find the time to tend to it.
What stops us though, from taking action and making time for things that are truly important to us? One word – Resistance!
Most often the greater the outcome – the stronger the resistance is to doing it. Where does all this resistance come from?
Resistance is caused by our inner prosecutor – otherwise known as our yetzer hara. Our prosecutor will find every reason why we don’t have the time to do whatever we’d gain the most long lasting pleasure from. Instead he brings our attention to whatever we can gain pleasure from instantaneously like junk food, watching TV etc. Our prosecutor clouds our judgment by making false arguments as to what is truly important to us. And even though we know that putting in the effort to work on bettering our relationships far outweighs for example; wasting time on the internet, our prosecutor constantly pulls us towards old habits and fears.
How do we beat our prosecutor so we can start truly living as opposed to reacting to his temptations? How do we get ourselves to stop saying “I just don’t have the time…” or “If only I had more time…”
Time is running out Motto:
Imagine that you only had 1 more year to live. How would you want to spend the last year of your life? What would you do with the limited time you had left? You probably won’t say – “Oh I’m going to live it up by partying all day and getting drunk all night!” Most likely you’ll say – “I’m going to take full control of my health so I can feel energized enough to enjoy every moment I have left… I’m going to strengthen my faith and surrender to God so I can enjoy the present and not worry about the future… I’m going to love my family and friends more than I ever have and make them feel just how truly special and loved they are in my eyes… I’m going to do something great like open and organization or start a business that I can pass on to someone else after I pass, so that the fruits of my labor will be long lasting… I’m going to seize every opportunity to learn Torah and do Mitzvos, so that I’ll have a higher place in the world to come…”
Some times in order to truly enjoy the gift of time – the gift of life; we have to bring about a harsh wake-up call! We can’t be so lax to say – “I’ll get to it some day…” for some day may never come. Like it says in pirkei avos: v’al tomar, “l’chishe’efneh eshne,” shema lo tibaneh – Don’t say, “When I am free I will study,” for perhaps you will not become free.
So this year may we be honest enough to admit that our lives can be taken from us at any moment and let us not take our time – our lives for granted!
Leah Field is a life skills coach trained by Refuah Institute, Machon Aluf Binah and RMT Center for Strategic Intervention (Tony Robbins & Cloe Madanes). She can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org