Years and years ago, there were several priests in our parish who, for a variety of reasons, made an impression on me. Their words echo in my mind to this day. One of the priests was Fr. Dunnigan, an Irishman who, from my youthful perspective, could have been as old as Methuselah. He had an impossibly heavy Irish brogue, which, to my ear, sounded mostly like mumbling.
Fr. Dunnigan seemed to deliver the same message during his Homily every time he said Mass. “You don’t know the hour or the day,” he said, or some variation on that theme. Now, I have no idea if in my tired and cranky state – induced by compulsory Sunday church – I heard him correctly. And I don’t know if, 35 years later, I’m remembering it correctly. It doesn’t really matter. The message is still valid.
Time is that fleeting and finite commodity whose last grains will trickle through the hour glass without much consideration for what we’re doing at that particular moment. We could be young or old, healthy or infirm, wealthy or poor. The end could come from sudden natural causes or after a lifetime of unhealthy living. It could be the result of natural disasters or criminal activity.
This may seem morbid or depressing. You may not want to focus on something as seemingly morose. But it is one of the keys to fully living, to accomplishing your goals, to realizing what it is you want and going for it.
You get to choose what you do with your time before that last grain funnels through the hour glass. Choose wisely. And don’t burn the day…away.