New Castle News

December 26, 2013

Tim Kolodziej: There really is somethng extra in the ordinary

Tim Kolodziej
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — A little neighbor girl stopped by our house for a visit the other day.

She told me her family was going to open Christmas presents that night at her grandma’s.

“Aw, that’s so cool! Are you excited?” I asked her.

“No,” she replied.

I was taken aback.

“Why aren’t you excited?”

She stopped petting our dog for a moment and looked up at me.

“Cause we do it EVERY year.”

Oh.



Once I stopped laughing about three — maybe four — hours later, I pondered her response.

Has our daily gift of 24 hours become routine?

You know, “just another day at the office,” “same junk as yesterday, only a day later.”

We’ve all got our favorite responses.

And they all have to do with where we now live — a place called “time.”

Each person on Earth gets the exact same amount each day.

•24 hours

•1,440 minutes

•86,400 seconds

The difference between you and me is how we view time. And how we choose to use it.

Here’s the downside of time — once it’s gone, it’s gone. We see or hear from it again only through our memories, video clips or old photos.

So sad. So true.

There are two primary ways we humans relate to time — we can invest it or waste it.

In either case, your time is NOW.

The past is history. The future is a mystery. All we’ve got is a present.

But in the time it took you to read the last sentence, it’s already gone.

So is the one after it.





"If I could just -------- then I would be happy."

Here’s the irony of that statement: if we're living our lives that way, the line always stays blank.

Always.

OK, I stand corrected. You WILL be happy. But only for as long as it takes for that happiness to wear off.

Then you’ll start longing and hoping for something different and new. That is, until it becomes comfortable and routine.

This is a crazy thought, but maybe things and events by themselves aren’t meant to make us happy.

Maybe, just maybe, the joy and excitement are more about WHO we share those things and events with.

It’s all about impact.

It’s all about influence.

It never stops.



You know what’s coming in less than a week — 2014?

A new year. A fresh start. A chance to reboot and shed all the debris from the year we’re leaving behind.

Yes, 2014 will be the year we start eating better, exercising more, reading good books, watching more inspirational videos and less TV, spending more time with friends and family.

But didn’t we say that last Jan. 1?

What happened?

Around the middle of March, the new and exciting suddenly became routine. Curiosity gave way to comfort.

We caved and nestled back into the groove we tried so desperately to free ourselves from. We stopped reading “Good to Great” and opened “Good Enough.”

We settled. Again.

That’s what happened.



Let’s go back to the little girl at the beginning of this blog.

She’s right, you know. We do celebrate Christmas every year. We open presents each year, too. Often among the same group of people.

But those gatherings don’t have to be mundane.

The word “Tradition” doesn’t have to equate to “sameness” or “stale” or “routine.”

What if, instead, we viewed tradition as a “re-visiting our past as we take yet another step toward our future.”

And here’s the beauty of that mindest: Each season of life brings its own joy and fascination. In other words, each time we “re-visit,” we’re going back to the future, one year at a time.

Your niece you’ve seen for the past 15 years? Think of how much has changed in that short time. Think of how much SHE has changed in that time. So have you. Explore the transformations. Compare and contrast your journeys. Talk about how you’ve invested your time over the past 12 months. Then make a pact with her not to waste another second.

Just. Enjoy. The Moment.

It’s where ALL of life takes place.

How do we do that? Here’s how: We must realize there’s a piece of eternity wrapped up in every “mundane” minute.

If you’re still breathing, you’ve got value. If you aren’t dead yet, then you’re immortal until God says you aren’t.

He’s got a reason for you to be here. He’s got a purpose for your passion. He’s got someone for you to impact in those everyday enounters.

I can’t remember where I heard this, but it is so powerful. One of the joys of heaven will be someone you’ve never seen before tapping you on the shoulder and saying, “You don’t know me, but I’m here because of something YOU did.”

You might not be aware as you go about your routine, but someone noticed you.

Maybe it was the door you opened. The note you sent. The phone call you made. Just saying “hi” on the street. The way you served your customer or talked to the player after the game.

Yes, they saw you.

Just like they did yesterday.

And, Lord willing, like they will tomorrow.

Back to the future.

Moment by moment.

The miracle of the mundane.

That’s life.

Don’t waste a precious moment.