Oxymorons are used in our daily life a lot more frequently than we may realize… People refer to a project being “Almost done”, “Authentic reproductions” of famous artifacts, “Airline food”(HA! Seriously?! I can’t even get a pack of peanuts from anyone other than Southwest Air), certain situations being “Beautiful disasters”, “Microsoft Works”(Never!), “Adult Males”…I mean, really? Life is quite full of oxymorons.
However, a few months ago in Nashville, we were reminded of an oxymoron that should never be used, by anyone; “Waiting for time”. Really? We can’t WAIT for more time. While we are waiting for a day off, or an extra hour – precious seconds, minutes, hours and days are ticking away, faster than ever. How often do we disconnect with people we supposedly care deeply for – family members, significant others, close friends, people in need – simply because we are “waiting until we have more time” for them? Unfortunately, for families related to Covenant School and the shooting that took place, that time they were “waiting for”, will never be available, again. As I watched coverage my heart broke at the senseless tragedy that occurred. As more details emerged, and families were notified of their lost loved ones, I couldn’t help but imagine scenes that so often occur, innocently; A child oversleeps, then doesn’t have time to eat breakfast, because he or she can’t find their homework. All the while, their parent sits in the car, honking the horn, ineffectively trying to rush their lethargic child out the door. By the time they arrive at school, almost late, they rush the child out of the car, and call half-heartedly for their precious child to “have a good day”, as the boy or girl runs inside the school, hoping to arrive in their desk chair before the bell rings.
It is a common scene. We simply run late, and out of time, to accomplish all we desire to. However, for the parents and families of those who died, I’m quite certain they are not saying “I wish I had gone to the grocery, or mailed that bill, or cashed that check”. Absolutely not. When life is suddenly taken away from you, nothing trivial seems all that important, anymore. What you wish for is not more money, better pay, or a more desired position on the corporate ladder. What you would give anything for, and wish for – is one extra hug, to feel those little arms around your neck one last time, to hear your sweet son or daughter say “I love you, Daddy”, again. You wish you had stopped your wasting of time, and instead, treasured the brief time you were given.
Nothing anyone says will bring these precious people back to their families, but I hope those of us who remain, take TIME with the ones who mean the most to us, before we run out of it. Those “waiting for time” will only lose it, because you can’t get back what you’ve already lost.