Motivational speaker Mark Victor Hansen once said, “Now is the only time there is. Make your now wow, your minutes miracles and your days pay. Your life will have been magnificently lived and invested, and when you die you will have made a difference.”
St. Paul said a similar thing in his letter to the Ephesians, “Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Eph. 5:15-17)
Abbe Michel Quoist wrote a beautiful prayer that he entitled “Lord, I have time,” which follows below. Quoist’s work reflects our difficulties in setting our daily priorities.
“I went out, Lord.
People were coming and going,
Walking and running.
Everything was rushing: cars, trucks, the street, the whole town.
People were rushing not to waste time.
They were rushing after time,
To catch up with time.
To gain time.
Goodbye, Sir, excuse me, I haven’t time.
I’ll come back. I can’t wait. I haven’t time.
I must end this letter, I haven’t time.
I’d love to help you, but I haven’t time.
I can’t accept, having no time.
I can’t think, I can’t read, I’m swamped, I haven’t time.
I’d like to pray, but I haven’t time.
You understand, Lord, they simply haven’t the time.
The child is playing, he has not time right now … later on …
The schoolboy has his homework to do, he hasn’t time. … Later on …
The student has his courses, And so much work. … Later on …
The young man is at his sports; he hasn’t time. … Later on …
The young married man has his new house; he has to fix it up. … He hasn’t time. … Later on …
The grandparents have their grandchildren. They haven’t time. … Later on …
They are ill, they have their treatments. They haven’t time. … Later on …
They are dying, they have no …
Too late! … They have no more time!
And so all people run after time, Lord.
They pass through life running, hurried, jostled, overburdened, frantic, and they never get there. They haven’t time.
In spite of all their efforts they’re still short of time,
Of a great deal of time.
Lord, you must have made a mistake in your calculations.
There is a big mistake somewhere.
The hours are too short.
Our lives are too short.
You who are beyond time, Lord, you smile to see us fighting it.
And you know what you are doing.
You make no mistakes in your distribution of time to us.
You give each one time to do what you want us to do.
But we must not lose time, waste time, kill time,
For time is a gift that you give us,
But a perishable gift,
A gift that does not keep.
Lord, I have time,
I have plenty of time,
All the time that you give me,
The years of my life,
The days of my life,
The days of my years,
The hours of my days,
They are all mine.
Mine to fill, quietly, calmly,
But to fill completely, up to the brim,
To offer them to you, that of their insipid water
You may make a rich wine such as you made once in Cana of Galilee.
I am not asking you tonight, Lord, for time to do this and then that,
But for your grace to do conscientiously, in the time that you give me,
What you want me to do.”