Happy year! May that warm greeting ring in the belfry of your brain all season.

After his record climb of Mt. Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary spoke of the epic event saying that climbing in such rarefied atmosphere the mind tends to wander. Therefore, before leaving the base camp in the morning, it is necessary to fix your mind on the objective for the day. It is expedient to fix your mind as the new year approaches.

The late coach Bear Bryant kept two slips of paper in his wallet that helped him stay focused. One was a prayer and the other the story of a mythical bank in which each day there was $86,400 deposited in his account.

First the prayer, “This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is very important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving something in its place which I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, not loss ... good, not evil ... success, not failure in order that I shall not forget the price I paid for it.”

The $86,400 is symbolically about 86,400 seconds that constitute a 24-hour day. The object is to spend them well. The prayer and the 86,400 seconds both relate to the importance of using time wisely.

Have you ever said, “I have more time than I have money?” Not really, you know how much money you have, but you don’t know how much time you have. Use both wisely.

Time management is strategic. We have only so much time, but the proper management of it enables us to achieve. Have you ever marveled at how some people seem to achieve more than others? It is not because they have more time than others, it is because they manage their time more wisely.

Like Hillary we live in a rarefied atmosphere, not because of the altitude, but because of attitude. Unless we fix our mind every day, we will be distracted to things of less importance than those for which we have planned. These then have a tendency to rob us of the time needed to achieve our desired ends.

Better time management not only means you achieve more, it also means you have less stress. By staying on a task you develop a sense of gratifying fulfillment.

King Solomon of ancient Israel is often referred to as the wisest man who ever lived. Though that may be questionable, he spoke great wisdom. He wrote,

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die ... .”

This appears in Ecclesiastes 3, and full text is worth a read.

There is a sobering thought, “A time to be born and a time to die.” That expands the time to be managed, not in a day, but in a lifetime. It is wise to plan in such a way that if today is your time to die, you are ready. Then having made plans for the ending of your life, you can give more confident attention to the affairs of each new day.

Planning for the end is a spiritual task. “Behold, now is the day of salvation.” Get-R-Done and have a Happy New Year.

The Rev. Dr. Nelson L. Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.

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