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Aaron Johnson: What is time?

What is time? We are all slaves to it. We plan our lives by it. However, few of us can actually give a workable definition to the thing that controls our lives like a puppet master.

Few of my close friends have ever seen me without a time piece affixed to my wrist. I am driven by time. Being late is not an option.

I live by a personal motto when it come to time: “If you are 15 minutes early, you are on time. If you are on time, you are late. If you are late you are going to hell.”

That being said, the question still remains: Who can define this invisible master of our lives?

Many may offer a better definition than can I, however, here is my offering. I define time as the means by which we calibrate or measure change. We schedule our lives based upon change. With the birth of a new year, we are all drawn to measure the change that has taken place in the last year.

Each new year I am reminded of those who were here last year, who are no longer with us. At this stage of my life, I also have the joy of counting the new grandchildren who are with us now, who were not last year.

And then there is our old friend the mirror. The mirror gives us an honest appraisal of who we are and how time has taken a toll.

I have an hour glass. In truth it is about an hour and a half glass. I turn it over and intend to watch it drain that last grain of sand. I always fail. Without my watchful eye the grains still slip away, always. My desk calendar has a funny way of doing the same thing.

For almost 30 years I have maintained a calendar that offers empty boxes, one for each day for the next three years. I keep them as a mute reminder of what I did. Maybe I do it to prove I lived, or worked, or mattered.

Looking back at all those pages I see a lot of wasted time. I see a lot of plans laid aside due to deaths, losses, and changes beyond my control. I see what was, and what was to be, and how time changed much of it.

Today I am looking at a fresh collection of boxes. Each one empty. Each one waiting on me to fill in the blanks and invest them wisely. This year I want to invest in what matters. In my book, my calendar, people matter most.

One day I will fill in the last box. One day the last grain of sand will drop from the glass. I want to invest these boxes and grains in such a way that when they are all gone, someone will miss me. This year, I just want to leave a footprint that matters.

Happy New Year!

Aaron Johnson is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News and the pastor of Christ Redeemer Church in Guntersville.

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