Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 8, 2013

Time Is Killing Me

My friend Brian Stone and I recently had a long conversation about making the most of opportunities. Brian and I have a mentoring relationship and regularly challenge one another to think deeply and live wisely. In the course of our recent conversation, I told Brian, who is much younger than I am, that I have reached the age where I am more aware than ever before of the fact that time is killing me ― and because time is killing me I do not have the luxury of killing time.

Omar and Stone

With Brian in my office.

When I was a younger man the years ahead of me seemed endless. I felt as though I had all the time in the world. Even so, I was gripped by a nagging sense of urgency as a young man. I hated the thought of wasting time, putting things off, and letting opportunities slip away. I intentionally looked for ways to squeeze every drop of living out of every day. I still do that. Even so, I don’t always get it right and do miss opportunities along the way. I do, however, learn quickly and turn regret into fuel for better decision-making.

Now that I am an older man, my sense of urgency has gone into overdrive. Every day and every opportunity to do good is more precious to me than ever before. The thought of wasting time or slacking off has taken on sinful proportions. I feel like Mother Teresa when her peers nagged her about slowing down and taking rest. She replied that she would have plenty of time to rest after drawing her last breath. But, while she had opportunity to do good and to impact the lives of others, she was determined to seize the day.

Omar Fourth Ward Girls

A favorite photo displayed in my office. Taken with early phone camera.

Knowing that time is killing me has sharpened my thinking. It’s easier for me to say no to the things that are less than strategic. I want more than ever to invest in the next generation and to engage in initiatives that will outlast me. And, while I have time, I want to do audacious and hard things, the kind of things that are indeed God-sized. I would rather fail trying to scale a higher mountain than to be content picking flowers on little hills.

I love what Charles Spurgeon said when he was preaching from the text, “All power is given unto Me … Lo I am with you always.” Spurgeon said, “You have a factor here that is absolutely infinite, and what does it matter as to what other factors may be. ‘I will do as much as I can,’ says one. Any fool can do that. He that believes in Christ does what he can not do, attempts the impossible and performs it.” Spurgeon’s words challenge me. They will not let me become content just sitting on the dock of the bay. I prefer to be on the ship headed to another horizon.

So, I live with the awareness that time is indeed killing me. Every minute brings me closer to the day I will draw my final breath. And that is why I am not content to just mark time or to kill time. Since time is robbing me, I am determined to rob time and demand that it give me something in return. Being passive is not an option. Having good intentions is not enough. Making excuses is not cool. Living selfishly is not acceptable. I want something more in exchange for what time is taking from me.

I understand that, ultimately, what I get out of time is up to me. Every minute is like an empty cup. I can leave it empty or fill it up with something meaningful. I choose to fill each minute with living that honors God and then offer each of those minutes back to Him as a living sacrifice. And when the day comes that I have no more minutes, I want to have lived in such a way that even my dust will continue to tell the world of God’s faithfulness.


Responses

  1. Excellent challenge to us all! Reminds me of the title line of the Dylan Thomas poem, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”. Thanks for keeping your readers focused on what really matters in life.

    • Thanks, Wende. Love the Dylan Thomas poem.

  2. Just posted this on my facebook 🙂

    To spread His glory,
    Brian Stone
    Equipping Pastor
    http://www.Kingsland.org

  3. Well written, timely and very thought-provoking, Omar. Thanks!

  4. Ummm… So good! Thank you for that challenging reminder. It is so hard to fight that constant battle of selfishness… I feel it always nagging at me. But, my true spirit wants to do the opposite… Live fully for God! Living my life daily for my Savior! I just want to sit and listen to the wisdom you have been given through your life so far.

    • Thanks, Sterling. I’ve learned it is better to live life by the inch rather than by the yard.

  5. Great and thought provoking words, so true! Omar, you have such a gift from God to be able to share His word so elequently!

    • Thanks, Stephanie. I appreciate your kind words.


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