Time is my most precious resource, without a doubt, more valuable to me than money. Each summer that comes to a close, every pair of pants my daughters outgrow, or milestone they pass, with every one, I feel time quickening as it slips right through my fingers. Nothing gets me more worked up than feeling I’m not able to spend those dwindling minutes, hours, days, the way I’d hoped – wasted time. Time feels so scarce. I let the disappointment, fear, and (here’s the heart of the matter) lack of control take over my mood and my behavior. In the end, I treat the most dear in my life, those I’m so afraid of losing to passing time, like they aren’t dear at all. Ironically, I get so angry over not having enough time, that I end up letting my bad attitude waste away even more of it.
It seems I’ve been overcome with this feeling a little more than usual lately, for it’s once again the end of summer. It’s time for harvest, when all the fruits of the year’s labor are ripe for the picking. What greater blessing from God, than when that which sustains us springs forth from the earth He’s entrusted to us. Not only does it give us life, but it’s a beautiful, vibrant rainbow for us to enjoy as well. I’ve managed to turn this abundance of resource into a scarcity. I’ve been processing and canning tomatoes, turning them into sauce and salsa. We’ve peeled, seeded, and froze peppers that my husband and five year old daughter picked themselves at a farm just down the road from our house. At the same time, I’ve been coring and slicing countless apples, picked during a family outing to a local orchard, turning them into apple sauce to be canned for the year. I never have enough time to get everything done that I wish. Getting 12 quarts of tomatoes put up isn’t good enough, because I didn’t get the laundry done too. Pickling the okra and cucumbers means that I can’t make that amazing (yeah right) dinner I’d planned. It’s just not good enough. When I should be looking at the abundance of vegetables and fruit, of energy that went into picking and processing, of joy found in the time we spent together at the apple orchard or in the field, I’m only finding the scarcity of time. How sad.
The truth is, if I were to sit down and make a complete list of all the things I have in abundance in my life, I would have a hard time finding a paper big enough or a stopping point. It would definitely include closet space and egg-laying chickens (how many people can say that!?!), not to mention love, family, joy, friends, laughter…Somehow, I take one of the only things that I find scarce in my life to focus so much of my attention on. Not any more. I’m making a conscious effort to focus on all the abundance. The “I don’t have enough time!” excuse is a very old habit for me. As old habits do, it is dying hard.
I’m not giving up. I’m going to sit down and make that list. I hope that I find “gratitude” near the top. That’s where it will be if I’m truly harvesting abundance.