As I settled into my second row seat in my afternoon class, I glanced down at my left wrist to find nothing but the absence of time and lack of, what felt like, urgent information.
I forgot my watch, and I was reminded of that fact dozens of times as I continued to habitually look down and continually grow frustrated at the sight of my naked wrist.
I never realized how important knowing the time was to me until I found myself checking my invisible wrist watch several hundred times a day, especially during class, though I knew the time of dismissal was out of my control.
Time is not something easily defined. It cannot “run out” or be “made” because we all have the same amount: 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. We just spend it differently, and how it is used is ultimately up to the individual.
I’ve found that when I see the numbers on my watch, I calculate how much time has gone by and the amount remaining until the next activity on my never-ending agenda. The telling of time is simply a man-made measurement of existence, and it’s not the numbers on the clock that matter, but the quality of the present.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what time it is or how much time is left. The Bible is very clear in informing its readers that God has the power over our time on earth. The earth could be destroyed before you finish reading this line or before I finish typing this piece.
Sometimes I wonder what I will be doing when Jesus returns, if I am still around. I wonder if I will be spending my time to love on his people and expand His kingdom, or if I will be preoccupied with checking the numbers on my watch to calculate how much time is left until dinner.
Being a do-it-all college student, I often find myself wishing I had more time in the day, only to use it all up. I will never have enough time to sleep or enough time with friends, and I will never spend enough time studying and working on homework assignments. However, it is not the quantity of time that matters, but the quality.
I want to use each minute purposefully, working toward fulfilling Jesus’ commission and making disciples out of love. I want to remember that my schedule is not for me to reap rewards from completing classes and attending meetings, but for me to glorify God though my interactions with others during each activity.
Sometimes I intentionally leave my watch behind now. Catching myself when I check it reminds me to look ahead at the people around me instead of down at my wrist. It reminds me to exchange a smile with the strangers I pass by on campus, to encourage others and build deep relationships. It reminds me to focus not on the time of day and format of my schedule, but how I to use the present purposefully.