Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Value of A Second in Time

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. - William Penn

You may delay, but time will not. - Benjamin Franklin

I was reminded of the value of a single second yesterday as I drove behind a limousine in Calgary when suddenly a vehicle approaching from our right ignored a stop signal and t-boned the limousine.

After stopping to make sure that everyone was ok, to provide witness contact information and the like, I left the scene reflecting on the value of one second and I realized that if I had been one second further ahead or the driver had been one second slower, I would have been the one t-boned by the wayward driver.  Driving a much smaller vehicle, it is unknown what such an event would have produced but likely it would not have been very good.

In talking to a few people about the incident, most of them expressed the idea that “nothing happened so I should ignore it”.

However, I see it differently.

I see such moments as reinforcements or reminders for maintaining an attitude of gratitude, that it is important to never take anything for granted.

Such incidents also remind me of the value of a single second and how that one second can make all the difference in our world or the worlds of others.

Now in fairness, there is not much that one can do with a single second and so maybe the people I spoke to are right.  Maybe in fact I am making too much out of the value of a single second in time.

But I look at it this way.

If I offer you something that weighs an ounce, it’s negligible weight is barely noticeable.  If I add another ounce, it doesn’t feel like much either.  However, if I add another ounce and yet another and keep on adding weight an ounce at a time, the negligible additions will eventually exceed your strength, either exhausting you or crushing you.

Time is like that.

A second doesn’t mean a whole lot.  A second second following the first won’t feel like much either.

However, as time accumulates, it suddenly has value, compounded by the notion that once spent, the time is not recoverable, what we have created with it cannot be undone and we don’t know how much time we have left.

The Bottom Line

Maybe we have years left.

Or maybe we have a single second.

And so maybe the folks I spoke to are wrong and I am right.

Maybe that one second can in fact make all the difference ….. in personal relationships, in professional success and maybe in your Life itself.

With that in mind, I wonder what would happen if we treated every second with the respect commensurate with the value potential contained within it.

What would we do with our Life if we actually honored the true value contained within a single second?

Do you treat every second with such respect?

Are you sure?

How do you know?

In service and servanthood,


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