Time – it’s a person’s most valuable possession

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 9, 2013

When Benjamin Franklin said, “Time is money,” he could not have imagined that 30 seconds would cost $3.8 million.

That’s how much companies paid for a Super Bowl commercial, according to the Associated Press. It’s estimated 110 million people watched the Super Bowl, hence the high price.

“What if we had to buy time? Would there be any difference in how we would spend it?  Would the days of our lives be used more wisely?” a time management consultant once asked participants in a seminar.  “What if you had to pay in advance one hundred dollars an hour for the time allotted to you?  Would you waste it?”

Think about time this way. What if every day someone put $1,440 in your bank account to spend by the end of the day? None of it could be carried over to the next day. Each person has been given 1,440 minutes every day.  We possess the same amount of time and it’s the most valuable currency we spend.

“Minutes are worth more than money. Spend them wisely,” Thomas P. Murphy advises.  Pulitzer-prize winning author Annie Dillard has written, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”

Poet Carl Sandburg once said, “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.  Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”

It’s been said that every day is a gift from God. That’s why they call it the present.

The Bible tells us not to bank on tomorrow for we “do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1)  Songwriters Bill and Gloria Gaither remind us, “We have this moment to hold in our hands and to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand; Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow may never come, But we have this moment today.”

Thomas Edison once said, “Time is not a commodity that can be stored for future use. It must be invested hour by hour, or else it is gone forever.”

Last week, a special friend of mine passed away after nearly 15 years of a debilitating disease.  I’ve known Alice and her husband for many years and watched her three children grow up. The fact that she was only a week older than me has given me pause to think about the value of time. Every moment we spend with family and friends is priceless, though we sometimes take it for granted.

Reading comments on Facebook about how her life touched many others through the years has made me look at my purpose for being here. What am I doing with each day God has given me? I’m reminded of what William Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances.”

Billy Graham put it this way, “Life is short; none of us knows how long we have. Live each day as if it were your last – for someday it will be.”


Jan White is an award-winning religion columnist.  Her email address is jwhite@andycable.com.