Losing Time

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance ~ Ecclesiastes 3

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. But sometimes I step out of that season. When that happens, I lose time. I’ve lost time by mourning when I could have been dancing. I’ve lost time with people I love by dreading their death while they were still living. I’ve lost time anticipating how much I would miss my children when they left for college when they were only beginning high school. I’ve even lost bits of vacation by thinking about how soon it would be over.

I’ve been on a journey to try to live more and more fully in the present. It sounds so simple but sometimes my mind wanders. Last week, for example, I got the unexpected news that my job would be coming to an end. It isn’t a monumental thing. It happens often in this business. I may be without work briefly, but probably not for long. I have enough to get by until a new spot opens up. I wasn’t worried but I wasn’t happy.

I wasn’t happy because I didn’t want things to change. While I was grateful for the present good, I reacted as if I’d used Aladdin’s 3rd wish. As if I’d rubbed out God’s last bit of blessing. I didn’t want anything to change, even if the change was good for me – even if the change might be something better. I wanted what I had to stay as it was.

How easy it is to give up the gift of joy in the moment by giving in to fear or worry or dread or anxiety or sadness or the need for control. I started grieving the loss of what I had before I lost it and in doing that, lost it before it was over. I lost time for a day or two.

There will be a time to mourn, but it isn’t today. It isn’t this moment. This is the time to dance!

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

32 thoughts on “Losing Time”

    1. Hello my friend!
      Holding on tightly at this end. He is continually surprising me with such an outpouring of grace!
      Hope to visit with you more soon!

    1. Hello dear Lew –
      Thank you for your kindness here.
      I was blessed to have a new job before the old one ended, with only one week off in between.
      I continue to battle the air waves, trying each night to get on line which is why I’m only now reading your comment.
      It’s always a joy to see you!

  1. I, too, have decided that this year was a year I’d live more fully in the present, I’d embrace who I am, I’d stop wasting time lingering in fear or doubt–but I’d just do the things I loved and not look back. It’s already been a wonderful ride. Time is so important. I just don’t want to look back someday and realize I wasted it all.

    1. Hello Teryn and welcome to TMG!
      You’re wise to be learning this lesson while you’re so young! πŸ˜€
      I’ve rarely lost time to worry or waiting, but I’ve often (since I was little) lost time to guilt and regret – even over the most minor infraction.
      I have really limited internet access right now but hope to catch up with you in the future. I made it to your blog and then popped right off line.
      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  2. Wonderful post Debbie.. I don’t want to lose any more time at all.. It is all going too fast! This theme of living in the present..enjoying the life we have and not being anxious for the future seems to be coming from our Great God. He is reminding us to trust Him and live the abundant life day by day!

    1. Dear Alicia –
      Day by day – yes, that’s it!
      Do you remember that simple chorus from Godspell?
      “Day by day
      Day by day
      Oh Dear Lord
      Three things I pray
      To see thee more clearly
      Love thee more dearly
      Follow thee more nearly
      Day by day”

      Simple in that it doesn’t have very many words – but profound in message! πŸ˜€
      love and grace to you!

  3. Wow, your 3rd to last paragraph was all too familiar to me. I tend to forget that which I so often preach: God always has MORE, and the BEST with Him is always Still to Come. Guess it’s just that “familiarity thing”–the unknown is a natural fear. God bless you BIG–love, sis Caddo

    1. Hello dear Caddo – my sis of the S.G.!
      Yes, it’s the “unknown” which I can trip over instead of keeping my focus on the known – the One who is able to keep me from falling!
      Maybe I’ll have internet connectivity at night next time! πŸ˜€
      Love that you’re always loving and praying for us!
      Thank you!!!

  4. This is such a blessing, gracious one! Thank you so much for reminding me to dance now, right where I am . ..and not lose the moment. “as if I’d rubbed out God’s last blessing” . ..that really spoke to me! love you and God bless you and all your moments with Him.

    1. Hello dear Debbie –
      I lost my internet before I could respond to your comment.
      We’ve said so many tearful goodbyes that I think we’re dehydrating! πŸ˜‰
      That said, I’m completely confident that God is working for my good. I feel the temporary sadness of goodbyes but the permanent peace of His promise to never leave.
      Thank you for your love and prayers – I hold both close in my heart.

  5. Sure needed this. I leave tomorrow for a women’s “thing” and it will start the travel wheel going again. My anxiety over things that haven’t even happened, and probably won’t, are trying to rob my time of now. I hope I’ll think of what you’ve shared more to chase the joy-snatcher away.

    1. Hello my friend!
      My only comfort is that now I recognize this as a problem. I thought grieving (privately) for 4 years before my daughter left for college was perfectly normal! πŸ˜‰
      One of the gifts that comes with time it’s the awareness of how tentative it is.

  6. Lost a job on our home-front too. I love this post. I can relate to most of those pieces you lost in the present, for worry of the future. I’m a worrier. It’s part of my work in progress, to live in the moment. I have a blog post scheduled for tomorrow with something similar. Thanks for the ever thoughtful blog post.

    1. Hello dear Lori –
      I look forward to reading your post. I read your comment on Heidi’s Good Life blog and have been praying for you guys.
      I don’t usually worry but I have to really catch myself or I lose time grieving.
      These past 5 years have contained about 1000 goodbyes and I was feeling like I just couldn’t do goodbye again – start over again.
      It wasn’t really that I couldn’t, I just plain didn’t want to.

      We are still waiting to hear about a job and we’ve been saying tons of goodbyes, not without some tears (us, not the guys). πŸ˜‰
      But I’m back on the solid ground of gratitude – at least I am today.
      And today is all I have, right?
      Thanks for continuing to share bit of your heart and your story here!

    1. Dear Linda –
      Isn’t that so very true?
      I remember going to a Gaither concert in Indianapolis and listening to them sing We Have This Moment Today

      “We have this moment to hold in our hands
      And to touch as it slips
      Through our fingers like sand
      Yesterday’s gone
      And tomorrow may never come
      But we have this moment today”

      I was 18 and I thought it was pretty. Almost 40 years later, it resonates in an entirely different way.

    1. Hello Noel –
      Excellent point!
      There are so many ways to lose time in the past.
      Some lose time by wishing things were how they used to be, or how they think they used to be.
      I’m more inclined to lose time in the past by reliving my mistakes and sins. I have a long history of guilt gathering – something I’ll write about soon.Forgiving myself – which I do believe is key to a healthy spiritual and emotional life – has been the hardest lesson of all for me.

  7. Oh, thanks so much for this! You have such a way of capturing that “aha!” moment! It’s almost like haiku, here. Love your writing. I, too, have trouble putting something down so I have empty hands to take the next thing. Do we ever learn, is what I want to know! πŸ™‚

    1. Hello KT!
      I’m a very slow learner. I’m so slow that I was 50 before I knew that I’m a very slow learner! πŸ˜‰

      I thought I’d made great progress in this area – and I have made some – but I clearly still a ways to go! All of my initial reactions were grief instead of gratitude.
      I’m in the gratitude phase now but I spent 2 days being glum, mired in circular thinking:
      This job has been so good because of God’s grace and kindness
      I don’t want things to change because any change will be worse
      Change will be worse because… because what?

      Why would it be worse? Because God wouldn’t continue to offer grace and kindness?
      No – just because I didn’t like it. Period.
      I wanted what I wanted and what I knew. Kind of like being 3. :p

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