Pink Potty: A Reflection on Time


Two weeks ago, my daughter and I went out shopping and we were charged by my wife to come home with a very specific item. A potty.

My daughter is at that stage where we are transitioning her from diapers to a potty, so we needed to go pick one up. After learning from Erin about where one goes to buy a potty and a discussion on our budgeted price range for one, Maddie and I were off to the store.

After some time wandering the aisles looking for the “potty section” (I’m new to this), we finally found them. Maddie had one request when it came to the potty, it needed to be pink. So I found two pink options, I put them on the floor, and Maddie made her choice.

Then as she sat on the potty she looked up at me with a huge smile on her face and…I started crying. Not sobbing, but tears filled my eyes. The tiny baby we brought home from the hospital just over two years ago, who was completely dependent on Mom and Dad for everything including all decisions, just picked out a pink potty.

Where did the two years and three months go?

My head immediately started racing to the future. The day I take her to buy clothes for her first day of school. The day I take her out to buy a prom dress. The day I take her out to buy a wedding dress. In that big beautiful smile she was giving me from that pink potty on the floor of the aisle of that store, I felt like time was going at warp speed, and now the tears were really starting to roll down my face.

In an article called Time – A Non-Renewable Resource, Chad Walters says:

Time is the ultimate non-renewable natural resource. Once a second has passed, it’s gone…Every day, every living person is provided with 86,400 seconds. The richest person in the world has just as much as the poorest person, and every day we are presented with the same amount, no more and no less.

Time is priceless. This day, this moment, this breath matters. Once it is gone I cannot get it back. If you’re like me, it is easy to live outside of the moment, to focus on the past and how you would have done things differently or to focus on the future and worry about what MIGHT happen then. But when we are lost in the past or the future, we are absent from the moment. And this moment matters. Life is happening in this moment.

The Bible talks about time and about being present in the moment:

4 Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered-how fleeting my life is. 5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. (Psalm 39:4-5)

18 Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. 19 And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life-this is indeed a gift from God. 20 God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past. (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20)

(Jesus said) So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. (Matthew 6:34)

When our head and heart is locked in the past or in the future, we miss the moment and we miss the life that is happening all around us right now.

Author Rob Bell says in his book How to Be Here:

Are you breathing? Are you here? Did you just take a breath? Are you about to take another? Do you have a habit of regularly doing this? Gift. Gift. Gift…the first thing that can be said about you is that you have received a gift.

Be present today. Live in the gift you’ve been given today. Have a conversation with a friend over coffee. Hold the hand of a friend or family member who is sick. Pray with someone. Read a passage of scripture, close your Bible and think about it for 5 minutes. Give forgiveness and receive forgiveness. Say hello to the person at the cash register and ask them how their day is going. Visit a loved ones tombstone, thank God for what was and thank Him for His presence now. Kiss your spouse. Tell your son or daughter that you love them. Fill a bag with food and take it to the food bank. Smile at someone. Laugh at a joke. Say thank you. Go for a walk with no headphones on and just listen. Celebrate that today your daughter has picked out a pink potty.

Yesterday has already happened. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. So live fully in the gift of breath God has given you in this moment. Be here now.


Books I’d recommend on the gift of time:

  • How to Be Here by Rob Bell
  • Death By Living by N.D. Wilson  (click on title for a review)