Time is an important thing.  The years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds of our lives tick away without much thought, few seem to notice.  Take a moment or two and stare at a clock with a secondhand, then ponder the direction of life.  Is television or a video game really all that important?  How should I spend my time?  What’s deemed most important?  I’m sure thinking of others would be a far less priority if we dwelt on it.

While running a machine at work the other day, I became intrigued with watching the seconds elapse on a digital readout screen.  The computer was tracking the process of producing a part and the time it took to do so.  Then the comparison of how my life is ticking by without much thought began to stir me.  What am I producing in life?  What will I fashion in the end, scrap or something useful?

When I write I develop an outline, then elaborate on it.  Inspiration isn’t my own, I know that, and what I think will be the finished product isn’t always the Creator’s aim – I’ve learned to accept that.

I generally try to develop a theme, and this article is no different.  That theme is, The Sum of Our Parts, a collaboration of the whole, a life spent, the devotion of time.

It never ceases to amaze me how creative God is.  No snowflake is alike, nor is a fingerprint.  If we take the time, and that most certainly is what this article is about, then we may come to an understanding of something far greater.

Darwin, an atheist, theorized we evolved from apes and someone else came up with the Big Bang Theory.  Someone even envisioned we crawled out of the sea as an amoeba once.  My retort to them would be: Who created the explosion, your Big Bang?  Who created the ape we evolved from, Mr. Darwin?  And who created the sea from which this lowly amoeba spawned?

I had surgery once and in talking to the doctor realized how complex the human body really is.  It’s a wonderful working machine, until something goes wrong.  God gave us eyes to see, arms and a back to lift, ears to hear, feet to walk, legs to stand, a mouth to speak, and a mind to think.

And the jest of it is the mind is in control; often times we convince or surrender ourselves to things in life and hence become the sum of our parts.

I had an uncle who was a compulsive liar.  He told so many whoppers he became convinced they were the truth.  Everyone knew they were fables, and hence he could be summed up as a liar.

We’re quick to forgive, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but we often overlook the truth when diversion rules.  Some say he may be the greatest golfer ever, but he’s an adulterer.  Others wanna worship a fallen pop star, yet he was a pedophile.  Then many looked up to a Senator who died, saying he was a ‘Liberal Lion” for the poor, when in fact he was nothing more than a corrupt politician.

I know many people suffering with vices.  He’s a nice guy, but an alcoholic.  She’s beautiful yet can’t be trusted.

One of my elementary school teachers once said: “Greg handles the truth carelessly.”  I’ve always been a storyteller and had to battle that.  I’ve made wrong turns and did some stupid things, but not given into them.

Begin by defining yourself.  What’s the sum of your parts, caring, neglect of self, or something other?

Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, was published bi-monthly from 2009 to 2017.  He’s an author, a former nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit Ministries in Jamestown, Indiana.  He can be reached at www.builderofthespirit.org.

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