Line of Sight

Before it’s too late

You heard the alarm ring. You woke up and checked your clock. What time was it? It was still 5:00 a.m. So, what did you do next? Took a shower? Dressed for school, for work? No. Instead, you hit the snooze button, rolled back to bed, and murmured a promise to wake up by the next alarm. Like any other promise you create, you made it. Congratulations for making it on the fifth alarm!

It’s okay. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Waking up late is not a crime. If it were, almost everyone would be arrested for being guilty of it. I, for one, had snoozed my mobile phone’s alarm several times that I eventually decided to just call it a day early on. Thank godness it was a holiday. 

But, not every day is. More often than not, we have so little time to shower, eat our breakfast, brush our teeth, and say goodbye to the people we love for school, work, or errands. We then resort to rushing things to keep up. And the result?

We unsurprisingly find ourselves tired and unsatisfied. Betting the rest of our day on how well the second, third, fourth or fifth alarm wakes us up should already be alarming. It is a realization that should have woken us up by now.

We all know that simple truth. When time is out, time is really out. There is no refill, no recharge, no reset. Whether you are not yet done as you approach the deadline; you are not yet married by the age of 30, 40, or 50; you are not yet doing what you love at this point in your life; or you are not sincerely sorry, words of affirmation, or “I love you” to your family who has not heard from you or to your parents who might be too old, but still try to learn social media just to reach you, see you, and hear your voice wherever you are right now. 

Time won’t stop and say, “Hey, here is an update. You only have few days, few hours, and few minutes left, so do the things that matter most to you now!” You will probably look at the calendar, and see that the New Year seemed to be only yesterday. Why worry when we are at the start of the year? There seems to be more time. We have all year.

We have all day, but are we sure of that? 

In our line of work, we could only be reasonably certain. Human as we are, we cannot give absolute assurance. No one of us really know how much time is left for you after reading this. Who knows you won’t make it till the last sentence, last word or period in this article? That’s absurd. But really, only God knows. That’s the only thing we could be certain of. 

Let us return to snoozing one’s alarm. Ask yourself this question: How much time do I still have after I waited for that second alarm to go off? Is there really enough time left for me, even just to say goodbye to the people most important to me? Do I know what is the one thing that matters to me before my time is really out?

Rick Warren, the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Purpose-Driven Life, has greatly influenced me and the writing of this article. One of my favorite lines is: “The more time you give to something, the more you reveal its importance and value to you. If you want to know a person’s priorities, just look at how they use their time.” So I looked over the things on which I spend my time for, and what I discovered was not so shocking at all. How about you? 

You know very well that there is a price to everything. It is your choice. You could hit the snooze button, make excuses, and believe the lies of laters and tomorrows; or you could wake yourself up and own the only time you have, and that is now.

 

As published in Mindanao Times, dated 22 January 2019