Journey to Wisdom

December 12, 2007
By Rebecca Williams, Wilmore, KY

“I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” Would we get anything out of our lives if we just went through our days, waiting for time to end? I believe that every moment counts in a lifetime.

“Goodbye…forever.” It’s hard to watch a friend move away and not be able to do anything about it. When one of my best friends moved halfway across the world, I was devastated. It was hard to not sit there and feel bad for myself, but instead I tried to make the most of the time she had left. We threw her a huge going away party, and even though school created a lack of time, we spent every free moment together; acting obnoxious in empty movie theaters, being loud in small restaurants, and just having fun. I knew that I would probably never see her again, so I tried to make her last few moments here in the United States special. Having that time together meant a lot to both of us, and made me happy that we are friends.

The lessons in my short life don’t stop there, though. I realized only after my grandparents died that making every second of the time spent with someone else is important. Nana and Papaw lived an hour away, so we didn’t see each other as often as we should have. When my family did go and see them, I would isolate myself from the adults and go watch TV or do a puzzle with the young kids. Only when asked to “Go say goodbye,” or “Go thank them,” would a partially genuine conversation spark up between us. Now that they are gone, I deeply regret not spending enough time with them, and I am angry with myself for not making the most of the moments spent with my grandparents.

My journey to wisdom continued when I took a mission trip to Belize, where the transition from the rich, spoiled Americans to the citizens of a slowly growing third world country was a hard one. While in Central America, some friends and family members of mine went to a rising school/church to help build the sanctuary and visit with the children. These precious kids were hard working girls and boys who did all they could to reach their goals, as I realized one day when my father and I were playing a complicated mind game called “Clickety Click” with some of the children. We finally told the class how the game worked, and two of the girls went home that night and practiced until they could do it themselves. We played again the next day, and my dad and I were amazed at how short a time it took them to have it perfect. They wanted something so bad, so they used the little time they had to achieve their goal of being able to play the game themselves. I loved and enjoyed every moment spent with them, but they unknowingly taught me a priceless lesson. They have so little, but they love their life and do everything they can to make the most of it. Every moment needs to be used, not wasted.

As time goes by, I am reminded that life is short. I need to work hard during every second so that I can live my life to the fullest. Every day I try to realize that it doesn’t matter how long I‘m on this Earth, or even how long I am with people I know and love, as long as I make the most of every second.

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