“Time takes it all,” wrote Stephen King. “Whether you want it to or not, time takes it all.”
There is no fight as futile as one to slow or stop the ever-ticking hands of the clock. Time is a funny concept; the present is all we have, yet we cannot possess it at all. The past is gone; it can be remembered but not relived. The future lies ahead, but not a moment of it is promised to us.
The most we can do is savor the seconds we’ve been granted, preferably in the company of friends and family, especially this time of year. There’s something special about being in the presence of those who make our personal little snow globes a better place to live. Those who can best appreciate the trials and tribulations of the year that has been.
This week, we asked our viewers to comprise a Christmas list. If you could ask for one thing, put it in a letter, ship it up to Santa, and have that request granted, what would you wish for?
Some of you went big, seeking solutions to global crises. You want world peace. The end of famine. Eradication of disease.
Others sought to make a more immediate impact on a much smaller scale. Tablets for your students. Money to wipe out debt. A home to call your own.
Yet the most prevalent request was for time. More specifically, a chance to spend time differently. One more Christmas morning with your kids when they were little. One more laugh with your grandfather. One more kiss from a spouse whose time has run out.
How often do we borrow time from a bank account with an indefinite balance? I’ll get lunch with you another day. We’ll stop by next week. I’ll come home next Christmas. We’ll see you next year. It seems like there’s always more time…until there isn’t.
We would trade any tangible possession on the planet to stop time and spend the waning moments doing the things we can no longer do alongside the people we can no longer do them with. Every single one of us has, without knowing it, held our final conversation with a loved one we will never speak to again.
“Time is a created thing,” theorized Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. “To say: ‘I don’t have time’ is like saying ‘I don’t want to.’”
This holiday season, I hope you have time to appreciate the nouns that make life worth living: the people, the places, and the things…before time takes them too.