Time Can’t Be Bottled

“If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do…
…but there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do…”

The familiar lyrics from Jim Croce played in my head as the week’s events unfolded.

The short story: nothing throws the reality of fragile mortality in our face like death. Because in the last week, this hit me like a brick squarely on the forehead.

A family friend died. Very unexpectedly.

Thankfully it was not accidental, intentional, foul-play, nor the effects of a long battle of illness. And it wasn’t from being old–to me, they were only a young 71. In this death, being absent of those things, is reason to find thanks in heartache.

The simple fact that played out, was, right before breakfast, this person slumped to the ground. And was gone. No warning signs. No holding a hand to tearfully say good-bye. Just.Gone. At hearing this news I placed my hand over my gaping mouth, tears welled up, and I was without words.

Words like, “…how, why, what…?”

After the initial shock wore off I called my parents (this person & spouse’s best friends). Dad was logical. Mom was emotional. A perfect balance of yin and yang. Mind and heart. The perfect way–at this point–to deal with shock. And as I hung up the phone my last words were, “I love you.”

Important “I love you”s because…what if?
“What if” stirred up and knotted the bowl of noodles in my head.

The “what if…” came on strong…

What if my husband didn’t come home today?
What if I never saw someone in my family again?
Or a friend?
Or a person I’ve been meaning to say thank you to?
Or connecting with my Maker in meaningful ways?
What if it was ME that dropped to the ground without notice…just like the family friend?
Did I leave before I got to do what was meant to do in this lifetime?

Death has it’s lessons for us that remain. What keeps coming to the forefront of my noodle-bowl-head is this: Time cannot be bottled. It leaves as quickly as it comes. Often unexpectedly. 

With that thought tumbled these other truths worth mentioning. Because you don’t need the personal tragedy of death to let these truths sink in and take effect in your life right now. Especially now, in this season of being present.

  • Don’t pass up the chance to stop, notice, feel the wonder and beauty of the universe.
  • Take time to get right with God–however you define that and/or your Maker. Just do it.
  • Allow the idea of forgiveness. If only for your own sake. Try it. And keep trying.
  • Drop the rocks (an important good lesson from a wise friend who noticed my ability to be prepared for battles that don’t exist).
  • Toss out (abandon) the thoughts and perceptions that don’t serve you or others well.
  • Stop worrying and talking about the things you can’t control (or the things in which you don’t involve yourself in the positive solution).
  • Drink the good bottle of wine tonight. Give the kiss. Hold the hand. Allow the hug.

Waiting till next week to touch-base with that person,
or continuing to hold off what feels child-like or silly,
or letting your pride stop you from what is better for your soul,
these things are the thief of time.

You can’t bottle time and think that you have it under control. Now is the time for what matters. What is good for the soul, what is good for healing, for self-care, for cherished relationship building and mending. It is for now. Not later.

Sweet souls–clients, friends, and welcomed strangers: I hope your week is filled with some of the life-giving-cherishing use of the time you’ve been given.

Cherish the moments.

Use them well.

Dedicated to Mr Steenwyk. I remember you from my youth. A hard worker, dealt with difficult circumstances, and always picked yourself back up. You loved your family and were strong for them–your spirit-joy-filled wife and equally wild-spirited child. I remember your kind smile and infectious laugh. The rest of us will be with you soon enough. Mercy travels.

© 2009-2012 Sherry Meneley All Rights Reserved
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5 thoughts on “Time Can’t Be Bottled

  1. So sorry for your sadness this week. But thank you for your courage in sharing as it reminded me of the things most important in life (and of a relationship that needs mending in our family).

    “Drink the good bottle of wine tonight. Give the kiss. Hold the hand. Allow the hug.” Ya, I need to do that tonight.

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