Robert and I were at dinner a few weeks back. We had the entire section of the restaurant to ourselves until an older gentleman came in and sat down at the table next to us.

The waiter greeted his customer on a first-name basis and proceeded to take a beverage order from him. When he returned with the man’s drink, the waiter asked his customer if he had a computer and if he spent time on the Internet. The customer said, “Yes.”

The waiter proceeded to tell him that over the weekend he had gone on the Internet to catch up on some things including looking at his Facebook account. Before he knew it, two hours had flown by. The waiter said, “Isn’t crazy how time seems to fly by in double time when you get on the computer?” He continued, “We’ve had so much rain that my garden was getting overgrown with weeds. I only had so much daylight to work with over the weekend and I really needed to get out and tend to the weeds or they would have taken over my garden! I had to stop wasting time on the computer!”

Robert and I both heard this exchange and we looked at each other. Without saying a word, we smiled because we had grasped the true meaning of the dialogue. The waiter brought our food and we ate our dinner without sharing our thoughts. The next day I told Robert that I needed to write about the conversation that we overheard at the restaurant. Robert immediately asked, “The one with the waiter and the weeds?”

This story was a great illustration of how we choose to spend our time and what is truly most important. If the waiter had spent all afternoon on his computer, the weeds would have continued to take over his garden. He knew that he only had so much time to tend to his weeds and he made the right choice to put an end to his time on the computer.

We live in a busy time with new technological gadgets and media sources popping up every day. Taking enjoyment from a good movie, having a laugh from a television program, reading blogs and keeping up with people in social media is all good as long as it’s not a substitute for doing things that matter. We can use being busy as an escape from some weeks that we have to deal with.

In our lives, what are we not tending to? When we ignore spending quality time with a friend or loved one, our relationships are going to whither. If we fill up our time with mindless, time wasting activities, we will miss out on learning and growing in our lives.

We all have gardens that need tending. How does your garden look? Is it beautiful and inviting, or is it overgrown and turns others away? What are areas of your life that need some attention?