Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Challenge Of The 24-Inch Gauge

Reposted from 7/12/12
 
The 24-Inch Gauge
"No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any."

~Thomas Jefferson

I work with a guy who asked me questions about the Fraternity several times.  I know he's intrigued by it, and I think he'd make a very good Mason.  So I gave him a petition, and several days later he returned it to me--blank.  "I'm interested, but I just don't have time."  I've heard that before.  I've said that before.  I just don't have time.

One symbol in Masonry I was most challenged with in the beginning was the 24-inch common gauge.  It's a reminder of the importance of mastering the use of time.  Looking at how I used (and wasted) my time was one of the first, and hardest, lessons I learned in Masonry.  Once I realized how much time I was wasting, and learned to use time to my advantage, I realized I had more than enough--enough time to research and write 5 books in 7 years. 

Over the last six or seven years I've learned a lot about time.  I just had to decide how I wanted to spend it.  Instead of watching two or three hours of television a night like I used to, I write.  Instead of seeing every new movie in the theater when it comes out, I use that time to do things I think are important.  Instead of reading three novels a week like I used to, I read one a week now.  Even that time I spend on my daily lunch hour walk I used more productively now--I think about what I'm going to write.  I even use that quiet time to learn a new piece of ritual I'm working on.  And I gave up for the most part, the hours and hours and hours I spent following baseball.  That one stung a little--but I've learned there are much more important things in life that knowing the score of yesterday's game. 

It doesn't take a great deal of time to do something meaningful, if you look at how much time you spend doing things that don't really matter--surfing the internet, Facebook, watching television, drinking beer with your friends, Twittering, following sports--you realize you have much more than you'd imagine.  There are a lot of things you're doing right now that you may enjoy, but are soon forgotten, and leave no lasting impression on you.  I used to be an expert at wasting huge amounts of time.  Time is too precious to waste, and as Ben Franklin so aptly reminded us, time is important because it's the stuff your life is made of. 

So make the time to do the things you want to do in life.  You don't get a second chance at life, and it moves all too quickly.  You can spend your life trying to get caught up, or you can learn to master the use of your time for the things that really matter.  If you do that, you can live your life to the fullest--in the moment. 

~TEC

Todd E. Creason is an author and novelist whose work includes the award-winning non-fiction historical series Famous American Freemasons and the novels One Last Shot (2011) and A Shot After Midnight (2012). He's currently working on the third novel expected to be released in 2014. All of Todd E. Creason's books are sold at major online booksellers like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble and are available for both Nook and Kindle.

2 comments:

  1. It is I who should thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed. This piece is absolutely true. It's kind of odd now days when folks say, " I don't have time ". I almost laugh and say, you don't know what your talking about. But I always keep myself within due bounds. A great piece indeed brother.

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  2. People who say they never have any time always seem to have time to do the things they want to do. It's not really about lack of time, often, it's a lack of intent. They always think there will be time later, but tomorrow makes no promise.

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