Posted in Stories, time

The gift of time

I think I have long underestimated the value of time. I am sure I am not the only one. I want to share how a few precious people brought this to my attention lately.

I went to visit a friend in the hospital last week. He joined our congregation a few years ago, is just a few years younger than me, and has always been a great encourager and support for me. He’s one of those guys who’s face lets me know he understand what I’m talking about.

Anyway, when I got to his room, his condition wasn’t great but was improving. His wife had another appointment and amazingly, no one came in the room while I was there. We had an uninterrupted forty-five minutes before his next diagnostic test. We talked about many topics, from the church to his family to upcoming trips and how he ended up in the hospital. After the sacrament and a prayer, he said, “Thanks. I don’t often get you to myself.”

Later than week, I sat down to visit with a woman whose husband had died two years ago. The time sure had flown since his funeral, especially during the Covid quarantine year. It turns out we had a lot of shared experiences to discuss. I also learned a lot of new things about her family and passion for horses. An afternoon flies by when you’ve got a bowl of peach dumplings and vanilla ice cream, and a miniature bull terrier licking your hand. It turns out we both really enjoyed that afternoon.

And then today I had an exclusive invitation to a 90th birthday celebration. I was the only gentleman to score a seat with some amazing, faithful sisters who gathered to mark this moment. When it was over and I was driving away, I thought, “The most important thing was that we were there.” We were there with her. We were there to celebrate with her. We were there to eat and drink, to smile and laugh, to make an ordinary day extraordinary.

After the tea, finger sandwiches and birthday cake, I got into my truck and got a message from my wife. Someone in the hospital. I stopped in on my way home. She was doing well, but was alone. Her husband had a ailing dog to care for. Those dogs, they grab our hearts and won’t let go! We laughed and cried and prayed. I’ve been there. And I’m glad I could be there.

I really don’t have much to give other than my time. Today God reminded me how valuable that gift is.

Posted in common sense, time

“The (fill in the blank) will still be here tomorrow.

Photo by Sophie Elvis on Unsplash

In a world of “limited-time offers”, warnings that “time is running out,” “if you call in the next five minutes” teasers and “not available in stores” products, all of life can seem urgent. After all, yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and today is all you really have, right?

Well, yes and no. There are definitely some things you don’t want to put off until tomorrow. But there are other things that will still be there tomorrow. We should pray for wisdom to discern between the two.

For example, definitely spend time with people, especially the ones you love today. But don’t get too hung up on cleaning every nook and cranny in your house. If you are too busy or stressed out today, don’t worry, the dust will still be there tomorrow.

Write a thank you note as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more awkward that task becomes. Didn’t get to all the weeds in the garden? Don’t worry, they will still be there tomorrow.

If you can, play with your children or grandchildren today. They won’t be little forever. If you don’t get around to throwing out the old leftovers in the refrigerator this afternoon, don’t fret. They will still be growing mold tomorrow.

Spend some time with God today, even if it’s just few minutes in his word or in prayer. He usually has something to tell you that you’ll need later on. But if you didn’t get all the ironing done, don’t sweat it. The wrinkles will still be there tomorrow, or better yet, they might just hang out overnight!

Get some exercise. At the very least, go for a walk. And take the dog. Keep moving rather than feeding inertia. If you don’t get all the toys put away that you got out playing with the kids, never fear. They’ll be waiting for you tomorrow!

Why not run some of your life through the “The (fill in the blank) will still be here tomorrow” filter?