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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > Gift of Time

by Jennifer Brown Banks

The Gift of Time

"Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today"

Tonight I got a call from a long time friend and former high school classmate. We’ve known each other for what seems like eternity. But my enthusiasm over hearing his voice was quickly dampened when I discovered the reason for his call. He was having foot surgery the following day, to amputate his foot, the victim of a diabetic infection that was spreading to his limbs. My heart became heavy and I was at a loss for words.

Last month, tragedy struck in the way of another dear friend who died of Cancer much too soon. And not long before this, my cousin Leslie died unexpectedly (in her 40’s) as a result of an asthma attack.


I share this with you not to spread doom and gloom, but to serve as a wakeup call to communicate just how fleeting and precious life is.

If you had just 24 hours to live, would you leave this world having made a difference? Would you have used your gifts to Glorify God? Or would you have a lot of loose ends untied and unresolved relationship issues? You may want to ask yourself these questions today, (and act accordingly) ‘cause tomorrow is not promised. In fact, people always comment on how time savvy and “efficient” I am, and how I seem to get so much done and accomplish so many personal and professional goals.

Here’s the deal. The Divine Creator gives us each 24 hours in each day, no more, no less. It’s the one area in life that everyone exists on a level playing field. It doesn’t matter how rich you are, how beautiful you are, how educated, or your race or religion, Black or White. 24 hours is what each of us has to work with. And the key to living a life of passion and purpose is to have reverence for time, and the precious commodity that it is.

As much as possible, I do just that. It is this philosophy that makes me a “mover and shaker”. When this race has been run, I want my creator to say “good job my child, well done.” I want to know that I did the best I could with the resources and gifts given me.

9/11. Columbine. Virginia Tech. These tragic events also serve as proof that we are living in a day and age where our safety is threatened, and death may not be as foreign of a concept as it once was in earlier times. Back then, it seemed that “the grim reaper” only came for people who lived life in the fast lane, or those elderly and sickly. Not any more.

So don’t go through your days existing on “automatic pilot”. Don’t keep putting off that novel you want to write, the trip you want to take, that dream relationship, or going back to school for your degree.

Instead of filling your calendar with meaningless “to do tasks”, you should be taking personal inventory, and compiling a list of things you want to do before you leave this earth. Live your life in fullness each day, and gift thanks along the way!

Here’s what my list looks like:

» To overcome my fear of flying

» To buy another home q Learn how to play the guitar

» To take better care of my health by undergoing medical checkups and screenings

» To buy my mom a new home

» To find “Adam” — which means the special “divine” mate God ordained

» To survive solely from my writing income

» To one day be debt free (“Oh happy day!”)

» To see my son one day married (happily)

» To commercially publish 2 books -- 1 on relationships, and a how-to for writers

» To worry less and trust God more

What about you? How will you use the precious gift of time? Here’s a quote that eloquently captures my sentiment on this topic:

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well”.
~ Diane Ackerman

Carpe diem!


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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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