It sounds crazy, but early in life I learned that Time was my enemy – cramming school, homework, and activities into every second of the day. In college, I began to wage war on what I feared Time would eventually do to my body – diets, potions, gyms and a race to find a mate – all before Time turned me into a hag. Professionally, I learned to live by time sheets, billable hours, productivity charts as I frantically tried to beat competitors to the top of the career heap.

I thrived on being busy. If I was busy, that meant that I was needed, necessary, even important. When I wasn’t busy, I felt guilty. When others weren’t busy, I made THEM feel guilty!

When our first child was born with special needs, I went into Power Busy Hyperdrive. I was gonna keep my job, run my household, keep up with the Joneses, please my man AND take our daughter to every specialist, try every therapy and treatment, fight for every service, advocate publicly, and never let her have a seizure alone (meaning I haven’t slept through the night in 25 years).

People who are caring for someone with exceptional needs have an even bigger battle with Time than most folks. Here are a few examples:

  1. Because we are watching someone we love struggle or even suffer, we become impatient, unwilling to wait for relief. We want it NOW!
  2. We layer one more person’s schedule on top of our own already busy one and then give it priority – dosing their meds, doing their therapy, meeting with their docs, completing their paperwork FIRST.
  3. The time we thought we had to accomplish goals (career, travel, bucket list, etc.) or spend with our loved one seems to have been stolen from us.

Some people think that making peace with Time is all about managing it better, but as someone who has cared for people with intellectual and physical disabilities, chronic illness and cognitive decline, I can tell you that it is a futile exercise. I’ve found that, as with most things, it’s a shift in perspective that opens the door to peace with Time. Perhaps these biblical insights might trigger a shift for you, too.

  1. Our lifespan and the time it inhabits is a gift from God. We are here for His good purpose. He has given us the time to fulfill that purpose and be satisfied. (Ecclesiastes 3) (Proverbs 19:21) This applies to the person we are caring for, as well.

 

  1. Time is not a commodity to be greedily consumed. He has given us life in all its fullness, no matter how long or short ours might be. (John 10:10) However, fullness and busyness are not the same. Love is what makes life full, not experiences and accomplishments.

 

  1. Time for rest is mandatory. (Leviticus 23:32) When we deny ourselves (tell our “must do” list to be quiet), that gives us time to heal and renew, hence the scientifically proven benefits of sleep and meditation.

 

  1. The present moment is where love, peace, joy, creativity and contentment dwell. We may regret the past or make plans for the future, but at any given moment, NOW is all we actually have. (Luke 12:16-20, James 4:13-17)

Learning to rest and trust (Isaiah 30:15) and let Love be my priority has made all the difference. It is counter-cultural, but it has saved my life, our family. I pray you recognize the war this world has taught us to wage on Time and that you will take the steps to receive Time as the gift that it is.