I’m sure you’ve heard the proverb “Time and tide waits for no man” or “Time waits for no one.” What pearls of wisdom or sage insight do you garner from this ancient one liner? Is it simply a lesson in time management, a reminder that we should make good use of the time we’ve been given and stop wasting it. Could it be a warning, a call to arms in the tradition of Paul Revere. “Time is passing! Time is passing! Carpe Diem! Time is of the essence!” Or is it a short thesis on procrastination an act I’m sure we’re all guilty of, some of us more than others. Putting things off is just so easy to do! Even when what needs to be done has consequences or is detrimental to our well-being, we sometimes are hesitant to take action and make excuses for not doing so. “I’ll get to it tomorrow,” “It’s on my list of things to do,” and ” I’m not worried, I’ve got plenty of time” all famous last words of procrastinators everywhere.
Did you ever have any of those “Father Knows Best” or “Leave It To Beaver” insightful, lesson learning, family moments when you were growing up? Remember sitting at the dinner table talking when the conversation turns to an incident or event that closes with your parents saying something like, “That’s why its so important that you Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today?” I certainly do. The lesson was clear, be a doer not a procrastinator. Take care of your business. And believe me I tried. I’m sure you probably did too. Kids like to please their parents, at least they used to. Eventually though I came into my own and although I knew that putting things off could end badly I chose to become a procrastinator anyway. Hopefully you had better luck.
Of course ‘they’ the omnipotent authorities who know everything about anything say that procrastination is the thief of time and of that there is no doubt. What does procrastination get you? Absolutely nothing, Nada, Zilch! The longer you waste your time putting things off, the more work you create for yourself. You will have succeeded in burying yourself in deeds left undone and believe me, digging your way out is a bitch. Worse yet what if all your tomorrows cease? That’s right, what if that tomorrow you’ve grown so accustomed to, suddenly stops coming? A not so pleasant thought but a definite eventuality. All of our days are numbered so we best make the best of them while we can. How terribly sad it would be to leave behind only a legacy of deeds left undone. Can’t have that, there’s no time to waste.
But whose to say what constitutes wasted time as compared to productive use of time. Certainly the distinguished “they” have much to say on the matter, but I for one am tired of listening to them. Who are “they” anyway? Besides, “they” probably procrastinate once in awhile any way. John Lennon once said that “Time you enjoy wasting isn’t wasted.” Although I know he wasn’t the first to say it but it was the first time I paid attention to it and I found truth in it.
Think about it “Time you enjoy wasting isn’t wasted.” It makes perfect sense right? I mean does everything we do have to be a productive, result oriented, physical or mental activity? If so isn’t enjoyment a worthy result? If I sit at the river’s edge and lose track of time watching the water flow lazily by, relaxing, thinking peaceful thoughts, reminiscing or simply appreciating God’s beauty, am I really wasting time? I think not.
Coming away from my experience renewed and fulfilled by my brush with God’s creation, is a productive result as far as I’m concerned. Any time you can come away from something feeling better than you did going in that is productive and not a waste of time. If sitting alone at the park watching the children play for hours on end brings you happiness and satisfaction then you are not wasting time. Although some may see you there doing nothing and think that you are wasting time and that you should be busy doing more productive things with your days, you should not be swayed. Anytime you are given an opportunity to get a little happiness in this crazy world of ours, you gotta take it. It’s a blessing and it would be wrong to do otherwise. Tangible productivity be damned! Inner peace and tranquility are spiritually far more productive. Go on enjoying the time you waste.
Carpe Diem my friends!