What are you going to do with the time you have left?


I recently saw an excerpt from a T.D. Jakes message so “timely” that I thought it needed to be shared. Jakes is an American pastor, author, and filmmaker and leads a church with over 30,000 members.  I think you will find these few sentences impactful:

“What are you going to do with the time you have left? I say, that if you don’t reposition yourself, then you might miss the best time in your life.  If you don’t know what time it is, time will get away from you and you won’t know where it went.  The worst thing that could happen is that money won’t get away from you… people won’t get away from you… but, time will get away from you.  Where did it go?  I am my parents age.  My mother was up talking with her sisters several years ago and they were sitting up drinking some coffee and one said, ‘Girl, where are all the old people?  Where is Miss Susie and Miss Helen and Miss Reggie Mae?  Where are all the old people?’  And, I was just sitting there thinking, y’all are the old people now.  And before I could get through thinking it, they were gone.  And my hair was white.  And my Afro was gone.  What are you going to do with the time you have left?”  – TD Jakes

I have become significantly more aware of how short our time is as I have gotten older. Goodness, it seems I just started my career back in 1978 and I blink and it is over.  Just yesterday, I was taking my three children house-to-house on Halloween and I turn around… and they are grown, gone, and have children of their own.  Time moves in a flash.  To me, the most impactful comment above from Jakes is, “And before I could get through thinking it, they were gone.”  There are so many people from my past that I would love to spend just one more hour with.

We all need to realize that work is important. We need to give 110% of our effort in our work because what we do is important and others depend upon us.  However, don’t think even for a second that work is more important than your time with others.  Your ultimate legacy is not in the work you did.  Honestly, who will remember the work you did last month to have a “terrific FDA inspection” or “to make that customer happy” or “to complete that project on time.”  Sure, these are important in our day-to-day work life.  But, will anyone remember them a year from now?

On the other hand, I think my grandchildren will remember the day last week that I came home from work and jumped into their kiddie pool with my clothes on (yes, my phones, keys, and billfold were out of my pockets). Your spouse will remember the letter you wrote just for her/him talking about how much she/he means to you.  Your elderly neighbor will remember that you made their day when you shoveled the snow from their driveway.  Your friend will remember that you set aside valuable time just for them – even though it meant extra work and extra hours in the office for them.  Or, he will remember the time you did for him what he couldn’t do for himself.  Your sister will remember how you watched her kids while she had a date night with her husband at a time when they needed a night alone.  Your Dad will remember the time you took him fishing back in the place where he first taught you to fish.  Your son will remember the last time the two of you ever played catch with a baseball.  Your Mom will cherish the night you spent with her in the hospital just holding her hand and feeding her ice chips.  That stranger will remember the time you bought his family lunch… just because you wanted to bless someone else.  Your daughter will remember your last date with her.

What are you going to do with the time you have left? No matter how much time you think you have right now, you will someday say, “It wasn’t enough.  I needed just one more hour.”

Have a wonderful day! I appreciate you!

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