Our Time Is Precious, Are We Using It Wisely?
While at a conference in San Diego this week about the intersection of technology and education with the business investing community, we had a presentation from the great author Jim Collins. Among his great works, is the book we used many years ago to stimulate our parish leadership, Good to Great. In response to a set of questions about making life decisions and prioritization, he responded, “I ask myself, if this was the last five years of my life, would I do this project or put this energy into it?” Ultimately he said, “if we keep asking ourselves that question, one day that statement will be true and we will be happy we made a proactive decision to be consumed with the right projects.”
What a great way to view life—not just projects, per se, but all of life. If we thought for a moment about all the “projects” in our own lives, are they giving us energy or sapping from us the little energy we have for life? Where do we spend our time and on whom do we spend time or on what areas of our lives?
I know that I stand in a position of bias but it is also a privileged position because I meet people every day who have to ask that question of themselves because it is, in fact, a reality. It is not a theoretical question but a real one. So why wait till it is so? Why not start asking that question now and see where it will lead us. Obviously, I want you to choose Christ and I have spent my life trying to convince others to start making that decision. But more importantly, I want you to listen to Christ in your heart. I want you to learn to let Jesus direct your priorities—not just ask yourself what is important to you, but what does God have in store for you in the next five years. Where do we think God is calling us in the next five years? If we can spend some time each day talking to God and asking him to enlighten us about the priorities of our lives, I suspect that we will be amazed how easily we move to the path of life that God sets before us.
If we can bring a modified question to the Lord each day: If this was the last five years of my life, would I do this project or put this energy into it, and what is God’s will for me? It is my firm conviction that if we spend some time on that question each day, our lives will be more content, more joyful, wiser, and more life-giving. Try it and see.
– Fr. Brendan McGuire