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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Don't Blink

As I continue to age, I am reminded of the speed with which life goes by. When my wife Bonnie and I were married at 22 years old, it seemed as if life would go on forever.

At 23 we had our first child, Lindsay, and at 29, our second child, John was born. Today, they are both adults in their thirties and Lindsay has two children of her own.

If anyone were to ask me about life and the time we spend living it, I would say, “don’t blink”.

There is a song by Kenny Chesney that speaks to this truth. The song follows the life of a man who just turned one hundred and two years old. Though I am not that old, I believe his response of “don’t blink” is a testament to life for us all to consider.

If you are in your sixties as I am, you know life can be a blur and the reality of the speed of life is both exhilarating and exhausting.

The memories of the loves we have and the loves we have lost are always with us. As a father, I would love to relive the times I had with my kids, just because I would be so much more appreciative of the limited time I have while they are young.

I would not blink because I would not want to miss any of it.

The secret to life, the song goes on to say, is to “start putting first things first”. Knowing this is true and doing something about it are two entirely different things. As I survey my life, I am reminded of the time I have already used and the value of the time I have been given.

For me, the reality I spent a lot of time striving and achieving has not felt like the best use of my time. If I could go back and do it over, I would be a better son, husband, father, and friend.

Unfortunately, and perhaps fortunately in some ways, we cannot go back because if we did, I am afraid we would miss many of the things that matter most all over again.

The beauty of life is found in the relationships we have with others. It is not how much we have acquired or accumulated. As our hourglass runs out of sand, I hope this will remind us not to miss what is right in front of us.

“Don’t blink” is not just a reminder to me, it is a principal to live by.

The question is will we live as if the time we have is limited and precious, or we will blink and miss the beauty of time itself?

The answer will be different for each of us. However, in the end, the result will be the same so, “don’t blink”.

Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

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