Thursday, March 4, 2010

Watch This! - How Do You Spend Your Time?

I gave my youngest a watch a few years ago. She still isn't old enough to tell time - but she wore it like fine jewelry. I spent a few minutes with her watching the time change on the digital face. As the minutes ticked off, which is pretty boring, she quickly lost her enthusiasm.

I tried to make our playtime last a little longer, so I did a little role playing. Trust me I'm no Barney or Big Bird. "Oh what time is it?" I said, making a different voice, pretending to be her, "It's three-o-five." I did my little skit a few more times and then it was her turn..

"Princess, what time is it?" I said, pointing to the watch.

"Time for you to leave, Daddy."

"Hey - "

I guess I should have gotten her a stopwatch.

Time is an interesting "thing" - fascinating in fact. Because time is so important to us, we have lots of words to describe it. HERE are some Time Terms This is not a sermon-ette on getting saved, the up coming 2010 election, or an appeal to stop Global Warming. I was just thinking about time and some of the ways we perceive it.

Time is cool, and here is how some folks spent theirs. The record for the 100 dash is officially 9.1 seconds and for the Boston Marathon it is 2 hours, 7 minutes and 14 seconds. Charles Lindbergh flew the North Atlantic in 33 and 1/2 hours, the Concorde did it in 3 1/2 hours. The average college education takes 4 years, and the average sentence for drug smuggling is 72.7 months; just over 6 years. For an elephant, it takes 22 months from conception to birth and for a tarantula it is 7 weeks plus 3-6 days to hatch once the egg is laid.

For most of us, times and dates are a way to put events behind us, as well as keeping the future organized and sometimes out of reach.

Peter said that life is just a vapor. We all know that in the tough times, time seems to slow down, and in the good times it seems to evaporate. What do you think it was like on the cross for Jesus? He was there for a while.

On average, in the US, life expectancy is somewhere between 70 and 80 years which is about 27,759 days or 666,216 hours (2,398,377,600 seconds). Which means that we spend approximately the following amount of time:

Sleep - 9,240 days
Work - 4748 days
Commuting - 292 days
School - 765 days
Church - 234 days
Eating - 1716 Days
Watch TV - 262 Days
In the Bathroom - 568 days (without gender consideration - some folks are "stallers")
Have Sex - I'm not going there - let's just say a few minutes a week doesn't add up to much over a lifetime.
Waiting In Line - 84 days Unless you've been to Disney World for Spring Break, then it's 104.
Time With Kids - 294 days
Time Alone With Spouse - 441 days

These are my own calculations - you can do your own with my handy Whiz-Bang Time Wasted Calculator.

I find it interesting that if we spend a lifetime going to church, it is still less than the amount of time we spend in the bathroom or watching TV. Sort of makes you want to say "Lost", "Let's Make a Deal", "Have a Crappy Day", "All 255 Body Parts Clean" instead of "Jesus Loves You."

On the timeline of life, do you know where you are? Tell us how you'll spend what you have left.
If you enjoy Fire & Grace, why not Tweet it, add it to your Facebook links (links in the right side bar) or email it to a friend (Envelope icon below)? Thanks for reading along. David


photogr said...

Time? Lets say it is going faster now as you age, then it really speeds up after you are 60.

~ Jan ~ said...

ROFL! But seriously, I really do enjoy reading your blogs - from your Spirit filled insights to those that make merry, as it does good, like medicine to my soul.

BTW, the amount of times I have spent in the bathroom bathing, brushing teeth, putting on makeup, styling my hair, scrubbing the toilet, tub and sink, along with answering nature's call, I have found myself in deeper prayer and having received more profound insights from the Lord than I've had in church. This may sound quirky to some and blasphemous to others, but I'm guessing it's due to no interruptions. The example below is just one of the many times intimacy was shared between me and the Lord while in the bathroom.

My nephew's wife, Dorothy, became ill in December of 2007. She was hospitalized for pneumonia and given one anti-biotic after another but nothing helped. I don't know why it took so long for the infectious disease team to be called to her case, but by the time of their involvement, Dorothy had gone into renal failure and was put into a drug induced coma. Her petite, 110 pound frame swelled up three times its size, leaving her unrecognizable. Dialysis was needed - but due to the excessive swelling, vascular access to her arm was impossible, so the needle used in the treatment was inserted into the only vein accessible, in her groin.

Twelve days after being admitted into the hospital, she was diagnosed with Legionnaires disease. After all the experimenting with the new, designer antibiotics, it was the macrolide antibiotic, Erythromycin, with a track record of 55 years that was recommended for the treatment of the disease. After being on five days of Erythromycin therapy, Dorothy should have shown some signs of improvement but she didn't.

Late one evening, on the 9th of January, I received a phone call from my sister-in-law, Pat, in Florida, stating that all of Dorothy's vital signs had taken a turn for the worse and the prognosis wasn't promising. I desperately wanted to go to the hospital but I had come down with a severe case of the flu and was afraid to expose Dorothy to what I had. Yet, I was very concerned where she would spend eternity if the doctor's call was correct. I phoned my niece, Holly, Dorothy's sister-in-law and sister to my nephew, Adam. Holly had just asked Christ into her life seven months earlier and I tried to contact her so that we could pray together on the phone over Dorothy, but she never answered my calls. I phoned another niece, Missy, who was also a new babe in Christ, to inform her of the situation. Too upset to talk, she asked me to call her if there was any change and our conversation ended.

Of course, I went into prayer mode for quite some time, begging God for mercy, when I received another call from Pat, saying the doctors didn't expect Dorothy to make it through the night. As Missy requested, I called to let her know of Dorothy's condition and Praise God, immediately after our first phone call, by the urging of the Holy Spirit, Missy jumped into to her car and began the one hour trek from her house to the hospital. She was about ten minutes from the hospital and I told her to have Holly call me, if she was there, if not, Missy and I would have to pray for Dorothy.


~ Jan ~ said...

Dorothy, continued...

Not long after, Holly called and although Dorothy was in a coma, I trusted the Lord to move on her behalf. I asked Holly sit on her bedside and place her hand on Dorothy as she repeated the prayer of salvation. As the Holy Spirit moved upon me, I began to ask Him to breathe life into Dorothy like Elijah did with the widow's son. That prayer was said at mid-night, January 10th, 2008. I received a phone call from Holly at 2:00 in the morning that same day. She was choking on her tears as she told me that Dorothy's vital signs had improved greatly, only two short hours after our prayer. By 10:00 in the morning, her vital signs were normal and remained stable enough to bring her out of the coma at 1:00 that afternoon. Much of the afternoon and into the early evening, Dorothy and Adam spent intimate time together talking, holding hands and of course, thankful for her being alive. Apparently, even though Dorothy was in a coma for days, she must have heard her brother's blabbering on, to the point of aggravation, because the first words out of her mouth were to tell him to shut up! We all got a big laugh out of that and deservingly, God received all the praise and glory.

Dorothy's edema had gone down by half, proving that her renal function was improving, but as a precautionary measure, the doctors wanted her to continue dialysis until her kidneys were at their peak performance. The dialysis needle was still in the groin area and the doctors feared this could pose a problem for another infection. Since the swelling of her body had lessened, it was now possible to have a portable, central venous catheter placed in a vein above the heart to safely continue her dialysis and for easier drug administration. Adam and the doctors discussed having this done sometime in the future. Adam thought this to be sensible and signed papers agreeing to the surgery. At 8:00 that evening, when visiting hours were over, Adam kissed Dorothy goodnight with the promise of returning early the next morning. At 9:43 that evening, I received a phone call from another nephew's wife, Kitty, telling me that Dorothy had passed away. No sooner had Adam left the hospital, and without him being informed, the doctors whisked Dorothy to the O.R. to perform the portacath surgery and she died on the table due to cardiac arrest. I can't imagine the shock and the horror Adam must have experienced when he arrived home from the hospital, to a ringing phone, with a call from the doctor, informing him of his wife's death.


~ Jan ~ said...

Dorothy continued...

This is not the first time I have been called by God to pray for those who were a breath away from eternity. Including Dorothy, there have been five altogether. Of the five, three of them ended with such bizarre outcomes, that it made me question why God had sent me. It was the same in Dorothy's case. Needless to say, I was devastated. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Lord had brought Dorothy back from the brink of death, and that's what was so perplexing to me. What was His purpose to return her to the land of the living, just to let her die? Why did the doctors operate so soon after Dorothy came out of a coma and in such a weakened condition? And most of all, why didn't they tell Adam they were going to perform the surgery, when hospital protocol requires that someone be present when a patient goes for surgery. Even when the surgery is an emergency, a family member is always notified. I tired to make sense of it all but couldn't.

I was angry at God for allowing this to happen and held Him responsible for Dorothy's death, but I hate feeling at odds with God and about a month after Dorthy's death, while in the bathroom, my anguished soul cried out to God for understanding. A hush came over my spirit as I heard Him speak to my inner man.

He assured me that He was responsible for breathing life into Dorothy's failing body.
And because of my prayer, a vigil of over fifteen family members, mostly unbelievers, now knew the way of salvation through Jesus Christ and Dorothy's rapid recovery was the sign that followed to seal the the truth spoken in my prayer of the testimony concerning Jesus, bringing glory and honor to God.
However, He was emphatic in declaring that it was man, not He, who was responsible for Dorthy's death.

First of all, God confirmed to me what I had already thought - the doctors should have never operated on Dorothy, as her body was still recovering and she had only been out of a coma for seven hours prior to the surgery and that the doctor were also to be faulted for not informing Adam of their intent. But then, God had told me something I wasn't aware of until it was confirmed sometime later, when I inquired about it.

As mentioned above, the dialysis needle was inserted into the vein in her groin. Dorothy had developed severe diarrhea shortly after being admitted to the hospital and once she was put into a drug induced coma, instead of the nursing staff taking the timely routine of putting her in adult diapers and changing them when soiled, they placed a disposable pad under her as she laid in her excrement. That would explain the rush for performing the portacath surgery. Yet, if they had taken the precautionary measure, by using disposable underwear to keep her clean, the doctors could have waited a few days more to guarantee Dorothy was stable enough for surgery.

I no longer blame God for Dorthy's death. Instead, I hold the nursing staff and aides responsible for making time saving and cost effective procedures a priority over the lives of their patients. In part, I also place blame on the team of doctors who waited twelve days before introducing the infectious disease team to Dorothy's case. As far as the doctors who performed the portacath surgery, I do not doubt their concern for Dorothy, considering they were aware of the unsanitary condition she was in, however, by doctor's orders, disposable underwear could have been used and the entire situation could have been avoided. This leaves me to believe that their rash and unwise choice to operate, coupled with the fact that they didn't inform Adam of their decision, was done to cover up the neglect Dorothy had received, thus, I believe they shoulder most of the responsibility.


~ Jan ~ said...

Dorothy continued...

In Matthew, Chapter 18, Jesus speaks of the offenses made against us and our forgiving those who offend us. In verse 18, He states, "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Although these men and woman were irresponsible in their judgment and ultimately, responsible for Dorothy's death, my choosing not to forgive them here on earth would bind them to their mistake in heaven. What purpose would that serve? Is it not God's will than none should perish? Therefore, I ask that God forgive them, to loosen them from any sin of commission or omission and I pray that their hearts be bound to the heart of God unto salvation.

According to your statistics, it is only natural that more time would be spent in the bathroom than in church. However, for me, often, the time I spend in the bathroom allows my mind to be transformed by the washing of the water of the Word of God and a whole lot of my spiritual stench gets flushed away.

Be blessed,

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