Everyday Spirituality

Posts tagged ‘hourglass’

Unfinished Projects: What Really Matters…

Throughout our lives we accumulate ‘unfinished projects’. I think it is normal to believe you can complete everything you begin in your life time.

I can think of any number of projects I started, but as of yet are not completed. I have an embroidered kit for a beautiful clock that has remained tautly stretched on the circular hoops for thirty or forty years now. I have lavender paint for the walls in our bedroom; I love purple that will most likely never reach its intended destination. I have neatly folded fabric for drapes matching our comforter still in the shipping carton.

I think of the time of my life much like the sands in an hourglass. Each day a few more grains transition through to the bottom half of the glass. These grains of sand can represent so much about my life and yours.

At first these ‘unfinished projects’ are perched on the top of the sands of our life. They may even at the time seem to be a priority. But, as the days, weeks, months, and years pass by these projects get buried within the very sands of our lives. Eventually many of these projects get forgotten and others are just accepted and remain as ‘unfinished projects’.

Sometimes others help you complete an ‘unfinished project’ because they believe it to be good for you or they simply desire to please you.

When I think of my life time as the sands in an hourglass; mixed into this sand are many of my own ‘unfinished projects’ which were initially on top.

Each day as the grains of sand quietly drop into the bottom of the hourglass there remains less and less sand covering the ‘PROJECTS’.

It may be a blessing to have the time to prepare for one’s death, but it can also be frightening. Frightening because as the top sand of our life dwindles those ‘unfinished projects’ become exposed; they cannot fall to the bottom ‘unfinished’. They hang in the top exposed no longer covered up by the grains of sand.

Uncomfortable and stressful for those of us who want to leave this world tidy and neat… who cannot bear to leave one of those ‘unfinished projects’ caught in the top without the sand.

This is especially difficult if you are one of  those people who believe when you die you should have everything in order…neat and tidy…

How can you leave stuff in the top of your hourglass?



Then if you are blessed a loved one comes to help you realize that who you are is not represented in these ‘unfinished projects’. This loved one draws your attention to the sands in the bottom of the hourglass. Together you look at these sands and notice that some of the grains of sand actually sparkle like tiny dazzling diamonds. The grains of your love for your spouse and family…the grains of your compassion for the homeless woman…the grains of your attention to students in your class…the grains of your smile for the depressed neighbor…the grains of your inner beauty…too many to recall the reason each has a unique sparkle.

You have heard the beautiful Beatitude message and have reflected it throughout your life. (Matthew 5:1-16) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

Suddenly when attention is focused on these sparkling sands you come to the realization that ‘unfinished projects’ left in the top do not and never have defined who you are to those who love you.

May your life be filled with sparkling grains of sand too numerous to count.