A Line of Thought Brought to You by Live Life Empowered by Nancy Gass

“Time is a thief,” the saying goes. I say, steal back as much as you can! I will never stop reiterating that time and energy, especially emotional energy, are our most precious resources, which we should preserve and protect as seriously as we protect our bank account passwords and precious jewels. I will also never stop pointing out that time is our most precious NON-RENEWABLE resource. Once a day is gone you never get it back. As the saying goes, “Today is a limited edition. Only good for 24 hours. Get it while it lasts!” (Anonymous).

So when I say “steal back as much as you can” what I am really saying is refuse to lose ANY more by wasting precious energy and hours on overthinking, worrying and so on. “Worry does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.” (Zig Ziglar) This would also include wasting precious hours to earn “precious money” that we in turn waste on exorbitant luxuries to comfort ourselves from the stress of the way we just spent our time. (Oy vei, trust me, I am looking in the mirror on this one; thank you Starbucks. Internal cringe.) To be completely clear, as someone who has wasted exorbitant amounts of time and money herself in the last over 40 years, I do believe I can speak on the subject with some self-convicting certainty about all of this, to include the coffee-on-demand crisis.

Sometimes it seems since time is “God-given” whereas money is typically “earned,” it is so easy for us to take time for granted and put our energy where our money is, so to speak, or more likely, where we want it to be, as in our wealth, bank account balance and financial security.

I have argued this topic with many a wise man who knows better and yet still seems at odds with me on the subject. So, since I articulate better in written word than verbal volleys this article is my attempt to win the war of time v. money. I do believe this philosophical sparring is, in fact, time well spent.

Yes, money is important, essential, valuable, worthy of striving toward security in, and worthy of striving to build in order that one may make a difference in the world both on a large scale and in simple terms of providing well for those closest to us, including ourselves. Yet I hope we do not forget the words of Simon Sinek: “Money is the fuel to advance a Cause. Money is never a Cause itself.”

It is also important to always refer back to Scripture on the important subjects. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” -Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

To go back to the concept that time is a thief, it is arguable that money is a thief as well. However, time is up front, clear, fair, equal and consistent, perhaps not in the length of life since we never know that and it varies for us all; however, in terms of our each receiving the daily payout of 24 hours, no questions asked, until the end should arise, of course sometimes it is our own making that leads to our demise.

Regardless, time and money are both thieves. Yet money is manipulative. In SO many ways. Money insidiously steals our time while having us believe that we are “earning” it which gives us this false bravado that really means very little when you remember that in truth money is “easy come, easy go.”

We cannot always control the way things go financially, just like we cannot always control things regarding time. The bottom line is TIME IS CURRENCY; in fact, it is the ultimate currency. We think we go to work and earn x amount of “dollars per hour.” But maybe, just maybe, the truth is, we go to work and spend x amount of “minutes for money.” We trade (or dare I say pawn) our time for borrowed money, not realizing that as it happens, we are living on borrowed time. After all, “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” (Wayne Dyer).

Now I know this article is going to rub some readers the wrong way, giving the impression I am accusing some of mismanaging their resources, but before you go and “unlike” this, I want to acknowledge we are all, myself very much included, vulnerable to and guilty of all things related to mismanaging both time and money. I have made SO many poor decisions I wish I could rescind; so many paths I wish I could go back and rearrange, and yet, “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” (L.P. Hartley).

All I aspire to accomplish in this article is to get the reader (and myself) thinking about all this in the tiny hope, even just a glimmer, that it might lead to time well spent tomorrow. On the things that matter. With the people that matter. Knowing that what you do MATTERS, because, at the very core, the fact of the matter is that YOU matter! It matters how you spend your time and you always have the power to choose, even in the bleakest of circumstances. Choose wisely, always remembering, “you cannot go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” (C.S. Lewis).