12/31/2015 10:27 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Value of a Moment...


Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. -- Dr. Seuss

"I love the new flowerbed," my son said. He, being a perfectionist, that's quite a compliment. I stood silent. He, put his arm around me and said, "Who would have thought one year ago today, we'd be standing here without the family members whose names are carved on those stones?"

He was referring to the large rocks, each one engraved with our loved ones name, birthdate, a dash, and their heavenly graduation date. There are three new rocks in the garden this year -- our way of celebrating family. But it is the dash in the middle I want to talk about.

In our family, we remind each other of the dash that separates the birthdate from the day of passing; that represents an entire lifetime.

If we could place our lives hour-by-hour under a microscope, what would we find? Everyone shares the same 24 hours a day. But if we take that 24 hours, and subtract: 8 hours for sleeping, 8 hours for working, 2 to 4 hours for showering, dressing and commuting to work, 30 minutes for each of three meals, 30 minutes for checking email, Facebook and phone calls, 30 minutes for exercising -- that leaves 1.5 hours or 90 minutes every day to make a difference in the world around us.

Statistics say we typically live to be 80 years old, so if you take your current age subtracted from 80, multiplied by 365 days and multiply that by 1.5 (90 minutes) you'll have the hours you have left in your lifetime to change the world.

Perhaps you'll shortcut your sleep time, skip your exercises, or encouraging others. In this 90-minutes-a-day-to-change-the-world lifestyle we live, every minute on the internet, gaming, arguing, or _______ (you fill in the blank), leaves us with a moment in time we can never regain.

Some of us will be brave enough to make our work our passion and mission in life in which case we'll gain hours to make a difference. Some of us will short-change our workouts which could shorten our lives cutting into our "difference making" time. Some of us will cut our quiet times which will cut our effectiveness to affect the world. And still some of us will work/game/Facebook/text our time away until we either meet with a midlife awakening or illness which really opens our time-counting awareness. We need to be wary of the true cost of time commodities.

In that 90 minutes a day, will we choose to encourage family and relationships, spend quiet time with the Lord/prayer/meditation/stillness, cuddling, writing thank you notes, inspirational notes, texting, doing laundry, dishes or ????? I've been encouraged in my own life to let go of time wasting, negative relationships, and things that have no lasting value. I'm not a pro at it yet, but I've become keenly aware of how quickly 90 minutes and my opportunities can disappear.

I'm rambling, but I'm wondering, what will we do with the hours of our lives that make up the dash between our arrival and departure times? What will your 90 minutes a day produce in remembrance of your time here?