Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the Challenger explosion. I can't believe it's actually been 25 years since that tragic day. I remember sitting in a restaurant and eating lunch, when I saw Challenger's explosion--the flashes in the sky of smoke and remnants of the shuttle. Just seventy three seconds after liftoff, the Space Shuttle Challenger was entirely destroyed. It was horrific and unexpected. I was totally stunned. One moment, I, along with our entire country, was optimistic, and the next moment, we were all completely devastated and in a state of shock. What had just happened? In the span of just 72 seconds, our Nation was forever changed.
It's amazing just how quickly one moment can change lives forever. Just one moment in time. How one action or inaction can alter everything forever. Time waits for no-one, but everyone values it differently:
~To realize the value of one year:
Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
~To realize the value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
~To realize the value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
~To realize the value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
~To realize the value of one minute:
Ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
~To realize the value of one-second:
Ask a person who has survived an accident.
~To realize the value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
I got to thinking about how I value my time. Is it as important to me as it should be? I mean, I'm not an Olympian or a competitive runner; I haven't had a premature baby, nor due I publish a weekly paper. Ah...but I do have the same 24 hours in a day that everyone has. Do I choose to use my time--wisely, wildly, creatively, constructively, lazily? Am I using it the way the Lord wants me to?
In Ephesians, Paul writes that our time on earth is short, so we must be careful and conscientious about how we use the time allotted to us--redeeming it by using it to further God's kingdom. So what does all this mean? It means that we must be ready, at all times, for any and everything. Waiting in watch, as our Heavenly Father has instructed us to be. It means that we need to be mindful and purposeful during our daily activities. Each thing we do has the possibility of changing someone's life forever.
The quick smile that we offer may alter someone's otherwise suicidal thoughts. The slowing down of our vehicle to let another pass, may alter that driver's road rage, thus saving lives. Buying a hot cup of coffee for the homeless beggar in January, may not only warm his stomach, but it may warm his soul. Yet, it only takes a moment of our time. The time it takes to say, "I love you," to hug the unhuggable (is that even a word?), to sympathize with the war veteran, to empathize with the hurting, and to nurse the broken is only a moment in our lives. I hope I'm using my moments in time to bless others as many others have used theirs to bless me.
"They'll be two dates on my tombstone, and all my friends will read them. All that really matters, though, is the little dash between them."
I love that saying because it is so very true.We are all given the exact same 1440 minutes a day--how we choose to use those moments is what is critical. I know that if I remain purposeful and mindful of my time, I will be more likely to use it wisely for the betterment of others. What are you going to do with your 1440 minutes today? This weekend? Take one of those minutes and leave me a comment and let me know.