by Ken Rolheiser
Living life to the fullest in 2023

What is free, but priceless? You can’t own it, but you can use it? You can’t keep it, but you can spend it? Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back?

I’ll give you a hint: Aside from Velcro, it is the most mysterious substance in the universe. You can’t see it, yet tradesmen can charge you upwards of $75.00 per hour for it, without necessarily fixing anything.

At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believed they would always travel at our side. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone.

As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant: our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of your life. Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Others will go so unnoticed that we don't realize they vacated their seats...

The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way, love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are.

…when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty, we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel...

I wish you a joyful journey on the train of life. Reap success and give lots of love. More importantly, thank God for the journey. (from Poem “The Train” by Vincent Moore).

“Tick”, says the clock, “Tick, tick. What you must do, do quick.”

“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.” (Charles Richards).

We are all given the same number of hours in life. How we use those hours is up to us and God’s grace. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” (J. R. R. Tolkien).

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” (Mother Teresa). And Nelson Mandella said, “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”

We have time for lighter reflections and time for philosophy:
“How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on.”– Zall's Second Law
“No man goes before his time – unless the boss leaves early.” – Groucho Marx.
“How did it get so late so soon?”– Dr. Seuss 
(from Michael Feyeh’s “About Time and Living Life to the Fullest”).

We must make time for our dreams in 2023. How long have we been waiting to achieve those dreams? We tell ourselves there is still time. But time is precious, and the sands in our life’s hour clock keep falling. We must do what we can do now.

God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has put eternity in our hearts. (Ecclesiastes 3:11). “ ‘For I know what plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and give you hope and a future.’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I believe our most precious resource is time, and “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live to do this or that.” (James 4:15).

(574 words)