published Monday, April 28th, 2014

Smith: Two tragedies: The same 24 hours

In the last week, the Chattanooga area has lost two folks in tragedy who have served their community, touched countless lives and left a legacy through their deeds.

Renee Monroe, wife, mom and grandmother, used her energy to serve through love, ministry and family.

Randy Tucker, dad, husband and retired headmaster at Girls Preparatory School, used his energies to serve by touching the lives of students and others through his love of education.

Both of these individuals join others who were born into this world, grew into their skills, applied them in service to others and whose names will be remembered.

Renee and Randy chose to spend their time using the power of their lives to work, to build up, to serve. This man and woman had 24 hours each day and 52 weeks of a 365-day year, just like like the rest of us.

In the same window of time that the tragic passing of Renee Monroe and Randy Tucker occurred, there were others who departed this worldly existence featured in the news.

In nearby McMinn County, two men, 46 and 48 years old, died due to drug overdoses from chewing prescription drug patches filled with the narcotic, Fentanyl.

Over in Lookout Valley, three men were left dead after being shot by at least two reported gunmen. The news accounts noted that "drug-related" activity might be a motive. The two alleged gunmen used their 24-hours to end the lives of three others. As this case develops with more detail, we'll learn of how these five individuals spent their time.

Down in Catoosa County a few weeks back, a 17-year-old teenager was killed as he attempted to rob a 69-year-old in his home. His time spent in the enterprise of crime cost him his very life.

How do you spend your time?

I don't have a regular schedule due to the nature of the strategic planning work I do. My day sometimes includes interacting with elected officials, neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons, web developers and printers, young professionals refining their business skills, reporters, editors and even a political cartoonist.

I love variety. But my time is my most valuable possession. It can be used to work hard to serve others or to serve my own interests.

My time can be used to read and expand my mind or be wasted on mindless tasks that swirl with activity while accomplishing little.

I can choose to use my time in dealing fairly, honestly and with integrity with all I encounter. Or, I could choose wrongly to manipulate, calculate and maneuver through the maze of self-serving actions that build up my own standing at the expense of tearing others down.

Renee Monroe, Randy Tucker and so very many others serve to teach us that our time matters. What matters is how we choose to spend our time.

From my pastor, Ron Phillips, I've learned there's chronos and kairos time, as established by the Greeks.

Chronos is the chronology of the time calculated by the movement of Earth in relation to the sun in defining seconds, hours, days, seasons, years, etc. that is quantitative and fixed.

Kairos time is qualitative and reflects an opportunity or purposed appointment.

In our plane of existence, each individual has both quantitative and, if we choose correctly, quality time.

Will your stewardship of time be deemed, "Well done?"

Robin Smith served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party, 2007 to 2009. She is a partner at the SmithWaterhouse Strategies business development and strategic planning firm and serves on Tennessee's Economic Council on Women.

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