The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

June 22, 2013

There’s a bank option none of us use to its fullest

— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Sept. 4, 2002. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

Imagine that you had a bank that automatically deposited $86,400 in your account every morning. There would be no balances carried over from the previous day, and at the end of the day, any money you had not withdrawn would be taken away. What would you do?

I think most of us would draw out the total amount and use it each day.

Would it surprise you to learn we all have such a bank?

Every morning, 86,400 seconds are deposited in our daily account. We cannot borrow from yesterday’s funds, or spend from tomorrow’s new deposit.

At the end of the day, the unused seconds are withdrawn forever.

Making the most of the day’s investment seems like an easy task, but I’m often disappointed at the end of the day when I journal the account of my hours.

I was too busy with something to really focus on a particular phone caller. I was distracted when a friend was pouring out her heart about something important to her.

I was unduly critical of someone who ignored a blip on their moral radar screen.

I spoke too quickly or too harshly. I spoke when I should have remained silent. I didn’t speak up to counter a racial or ethnic slur. I took the easy way out.

Choices I made in a single second can have consequences that will outlast me.

Seconds count. We realize that in an emergency, but it’s easy to forget in the ebb and flow of an ordinary day.

Seconds can make the difference in the daily quality of our lives. They remind me of the thousands of pixels that make up a computer image. Let a few be fuzzy or corrupted, and the whole picture is out of kilter.

I thought of a passage in Lamentations 3:21-23 in regard to the wise stewardship of our daily allotment of time. “This I recall to mind, and it gives me hope. It is because of the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions do not fail. His mercies are new every morning.”

I once heard a minister say the reason God sends new mercies every morning is because we use them all up every day.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could use these mercies more wisely, allowing them to have more control over our seconds and our spur-of-the-moment choices?

We’re reminded regularly at church about the need to practice good stewardship, and it’s too easy to relegate that teaching only to how we handle our money. I believe we are called to be good stewards of everything in our lives. If you’re like I am, time is the hardest to manage wisely.

I can think of 86,400 good reasons why we should all try harder.