Somewhere along the way I realized something very interesting. I could mark the next major event in my life by when the milk expired. I walked past the cooler at Wal-Mart and exclaimed to my youngest, “OMG the milk expires before your sister’s birthday!” Not that I had forgotten the birthday at all. I knew it was coming. I knew the date. Something hit me that day about the date printed on that milk. It was stamped there, unchanging, no negotiation, time stood its ground and demanded my attention. I don’t know exactly when this started to happen but then I really began to look. The new year, birthdays, anniversaries, trips, Easter, Halloween, Christmas. Each time I looked at the date I would wonder at the passing of time. Time cannot be controlled. One of few things that man cannot take ahold of. No matter what happens in our lives there is one thing for certain, TIME is marching on. Sometimes this fact relieves me. Sometimes it seems cruel and sometimes it scares me.
I find myself at the doorstep of my second Christmas as a small business owner. I marvel back at the lessons I have learned and the knowledge I have gained. Some lessons I would rather forget although sometimes those are the most important kind. We have had days of great triumph and days of despair but time knew no difference. Someone asked me the other day if I was tired of the struggle. My reply after I thought a minute was “I don’t know if I am or not but time marches on just the same” The point is, whether we choose to try or choose to give up time knows no difference. Just as the milk is going to spoil by the date on the jug with or without our help we must decide what we will do each day not worried about waiting on time.
Eventually I let the expiration date on the milk inspire me instead of stressing me. Now I look at the date as a reminder that there are things to do and events to celebrate and one day doesn’t make or break us. What event in your life will happen before the milk expires? I encourage you to look. I almost always think of something when I glance at mine. Act today. Don’t wait, time isn’t waiting for you. Make this Christmas the one where you take full advantage of time and all it has to offer. Drink it in. every moment. This holiday season let the expiration date on the milk remind you what wonderful opportunities we have if we don’t fear time, but use it. Use your time wisely. After all, drinking the milk after the expiration date never tastes good.