Friday, March 2, 2012

The Unforgiving Minute

Today is the last day of our topic on Rudyard Kipling's If. I hope you have enjoyed it so far and that his poetic look at the realities of life inspire you as they do me! Today's focus is one of my favorites!
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
One of my greatest fears in life is that I will get to the end of it and feel like I have wasted it. My goal in life is to live a life that I will never regret. I don't see a life without regret as one without mistakes; I see it as one that was not wasted. I want to reach for the stars! I am sure that this is a desire in most of our hearts. Kipling addresses this desire in this one stanza - "to fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run" means that not one second was wasted!

I believe that one of the reasons that women feel burdened instead of busy is because we feel we are wasting our precious moments on things like dishes, laundry, work, and that we will look back and have missed the important things and have regret. I have formed the following from my own pursuits to live a life without regret, and I hope they will be a helpful inspiration for you!

Ways to fill the unforgiving minute and live a life without regret:

1) Make a list of your priorities - the things that you want to see you've done by the time you reach the end (whenever that may be!)  For me it is simply to have captured every moment possible of memories with my children, to have loved my husband to the greatest of my abilities and found in him my best of friends (important for when my babies grow up!), to have used my time and efforts in ways that will further God's kingdom and either lead people to Christ or help them to grow in their Christian maturity so that they can lead others to Christ. For me, that's it! You may have more!

2) When those moments arise, choose your priorities over other things. Is it a beautiful day to spend outside playing and you only have an hour before work? You have two choices - dishes or play with kids. Go play with those babies! Dishes can wait! What I have learned is that no one really cares except me! So I need to put aside my perfectionism in order to fill that minute with 60 seconds worth of distance toward my life goals!
Do you have to work outside of the home or is it a choice you make so that you can have more money to spend on nicer things? Is having nicer things one of your priorities? If it isn't, reevaluate! If you have to work, then you need to be extra thoughtful about how you fill your minutes outside work! Choose your priorities - always.

3) Get rid of Waste! We all need rest and down-time. However, if you are wasting the time that you could be building memories or making a difference in the world by watching TV, playing on the Internet, messing around with hobbies, then you need to set those things aside. Need a break? That's OK! Set a time limit for yourself (i.e. I will watch this show and then get back to work; I will check my email and Facebook for 15 minutes and then go see what my kids are up to).

4) Don't burden yourself with expectations that you can't live up to. Live your life! Feel free to enjoy it! Reach for your goals, but don't be tied down by them (see some of the earlier posts!) SMILE! When things don't get done or don't go right, just shrug it off and keep on!

5) Definitely not the least important - spend time in prayer and study of God's Word. God can take you to new heights in your life if you spend the time to build that relationship with Him! Take the time to get to know Him, who He is and the plans He has for you. If you live a life saturated in Christ, I can guarantee that in the end, you will not have regrets!

I hope that this will encourage you today to take every opportunity to fill your unforgiving minute in a way that will make your life something beautiful to look back on!

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