Lost time can never be found again

“Lost and found” boxes are a wonderful idea.
One glove missing from a pair. A watch with a broken band. A hat with only a tiny hole in it. A little chain that doesn’t seem to belong to anything.
A billfold with the I.D. missing. A pocket calendar that holds someone’s whole life at a glance.
You’d be surprised at the things that end up in lost and found boxes.
But have you ever noticed that when you go to check a particular lost and found box, the prized possession you’re looking for is seldom there? That’s because things once lost are seldom found.
And time is no exception. Actually, time is an exception for you can’t truthfully say that lost time is “seldom found.”
No, the harsh truth is that lost time is never found.
It’s a sad thing about time. We take it so for granted. We kill it, waste it, and spend it.
Sometimes, we talk about the time seeming long. Or even stopping.
But on the other hand, we often say that time is “running out.” Time flies. And always, we complain about never having enough time.
Sometimes people even go so far as to say, “I don’t have time.”
What do they mean? Because time is life. And if you don’t have time, you don’t have life.
It’s the most foolish thing in the world to disrespect time—and yet we do it nearly every day.
From antiquity, the great thinkers have lamented the fleeting nature of time. Virgil, who lived in the first century B.C., warned, “Time is flying never to return.”
Two hundred years earlier, Theophrastus had said: “Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.”
And 16 centuries later, Ben Jonson remarked that “Time will not be ours forever.”
It matters enormously how we use time. We must never imagine that we can “kill time without injuring eternity,” wrote Henry David Thoreau.
Time is life. And how we spend it is the essence of life.
When we talk about what is important to us, our words mean little. What tells the story is our time and how we choose to spend it.
There’s plenty of time in your life. Twenty-four hours a day, in fact.
There’s time to do work that is important to you. Time to make a contribution to society. Time to volunteer.
There’s plenty of time to care about your family and close friends. Time to walk together. And laugh together.
Time to seek the truth together. And share dinner.
There’s time to walk in the snow. And time to make a garden. And time to pick daffodils when spring comes.
Today, you can choose to do all these things. And tomorrow? Well, we don’t know about tomorrow.
What we do know is that, once lost, time will never be found again.
In the late 20th century, our new longevity has given us a wonderful gift of extra time. Time that we can spend in any way we choose.
So think about it. Just what is it in life that’s important enough to you to justify spending your precious time on it?
You can do anything you want with your time. Anything, that is, except get it back once it is spent.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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