A patch above the left shirt pocket on my Boy Scout uniform says, “National Jamboree, Colorado Springs, Fifty Years of Scouting, 1910-1960.” On my uniform belt buckle, engraved in pewter, are the words, “100 Years of Scouting, 1910-2010.” It recently dawned on me that I have been involved in the Boy Scout movement for more than fifty years—a half century!
Except for a couple of years while I was in South America, I have been registered with the Boy Scouts in one capacity or another almost continuously since I was nine years old. I am presently serving as the Advancement Chairman on the Scout Committee of the local Troop in my Church.
I was a sophomore at the American School of Monterrey, Mexico, when I was privileged to attend the National Jamboree at Colorado Springs as an Explorer Scout in 1960. During the week-long event the Jamboree tent city was the third largest city in the State of Colorado with more than fifty thousand Scouts and leaders in attendance from all fifty states and many foreign countries. I will never forget the pageantry, color and camaraderie of that great gathering at the foot of Pike’s Peak.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the honorary President of the Boy Scouts at the time. I still have the photographs that I took of him as he waved at the throng of boys from the back seat of a black Cadillac convertible. He was dressed in a suit but wore a Scout neckerchief. We boys from Monterrey were attached to a troop from the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. While at the jamboree we were paired with a troop from West Virginia and I learned a lot about that part of the country from those fellows. That exchange added interest when I later visited West Virginia on business.
Realizing that I have been a Boy Scout for more than half a century gave me pause to reflect on what I have or have not done during that time. Obviously, I never grew up. I still wear the uniform of a boy. Hopefully I still have the heart of a boy—filled with curiosity and adventure. But what of the time I have left? What will I do with that?
There are things in the future and things in the past. I think we must live each moment as though it were our last. Someone said that he only is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with worry, fret, and anxiety. I think we must finish each day and be done with it. This day is all that we have. It is too dear to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
One thing is for sure—I enjoy a good nap more now than ever before. Lord Avebury said, “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky is by no means a waste of time.” I concur with that.
“Take time to think—it’s the source of power; Take time to read—it’s the fountain of knowledge; Take time to play—it’s the secret of perpetual youth; Take time to be friendly—it’s the road to happiness; Take time to laugh—it’s the mirror of the soul; Take time to give—it’s ungodly to be selfish; Take time to work—it’s the price of success; Take time to love and be loved—it’s God’s given privilege; Take time to pray—it’s the greatest power on earth; Take time—it’s yours.” (Author unknown)
Time is one thing in which we are equal to all others. We all draw the same salary in seconds, minutes and hours. I am always saying, “If I had time…” or “If I could only find the time…” I know that if I want time, I must make it. We find the time for those things we consciously or unconsciously believe to be most important. And, if we are going to kill time, how about trying to work it to death?
We crave time. We curse it. We kill it. We abuse it. Is it a friend? Or an enemy? I suspect we know very little about it. It hangs heavy for the bored, eludes the busy, flies by for the young and runs out for the aged.
Thomas Edison said that everything comes to him who hustles while he waits. Well, I don’t know how much hustle I have left in me but I think I’ll keep wearing my Boy Scout uniform and live for today. I will try to live through this day only and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just as my fortune depends on how my money is invested, so my success in life depends on how my time is invested.