Friday, August 17, 2007

Giving Your Time to Others

Have you considered that...your most precious gift is time since you only have a set amount of it? While you can make more money, you cannot make more time. Giving someone your time is giving them a portion of your life that you can never get back. Because your time is your life, it is the greatest gift you can give someone. "For God so loved the world that he gave..." (John 3:16)

For many it is elderly parents who need some extra time and care, for others is it is adolescent or even young children who need their time, or perhaps it is close friends, brothers or sisters, or perhaps grandparents, aunts or uncles, nieces or nephews. We all have those who need our time and attention.

As men in today’s busy world, time is one of the most precious things we have. There’s just not enough of it—God gives each of us only a limited amount of it and it up to us to decide how we use it. It is easy for men to get caught up in our work and trying to provide all the things we and our families need. Yet we often find that those we love the most are not satisfied with that alone – they want more. What do they want? They want and need our time—undistracted by work, bills, chores. Giving our undivided attention and presence is an act of love where you completely forget about yourself for the moment and concentrate on another.

Giving our time is also a sacrifice, and sacrifice is what love is all about. Jesus was the greatest example of this: “Live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering…” (Ephesians 5:2) Our sacrifice is time.

Steve Wood, a noted Catholic author, tells the story of when he was a youth pastor and asked children to complete the sentence, “I love my dad because…” He remembers one boy’s reply was that he loved his dad because he took him to the dump every Saturday morning. What the young boy was saying was that he valued the regular time he had to spend with his dad every Saturday morning, not that he enjoyed going to the dump.

In the end, those you love most will value your regular presence and focused attention more than any other gift or trips to an amusement park or other destination. The amount of focused time you spent with those you love is what they will remember when you are gone.

“Seventy is the sum of our years, or eighty, if we are strong;

Most of them are sorrow and toil; they pass quickly, we are all but gone….

Teach us to count our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.” (Psalm 90: 10, 12)

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