Mom, can I borrow the car?
Dad, can I have some money for the movies?
Honey, what's for dinner?
Life is full of wanting things from people and trying to get people to do things for us. That just seems to be the way things are these days. And many of the things that we need or want are necessary, but a lot of them are not.
Doesn't it feel good when you can give those things to someone?
The car . . .
the money . . .
a good meal . . .
It really does feel good to be able to provide. It can feel pretty lousy if you cannot.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who cannot give those things to the ones they love, not because they don't want to, but for the simple reason that they do not have it to give.
The car may be broken and they cannot afford to fix it.
Dad may have lost his job and he doesn't have the extra money to give his kids for the movies.
Or money is so tight that dinner isn't a big feast, but what they were able to get from the food bank that week.
But what is that one simple thing that every person has, that they can give freely and abundantly to the ones they love? What is that one thing that, when you really think about it, is really only limited in scope by its very nature that makes it so, so precious, yet we all have plenty of it to spare and share if we think about it?
That thing is our time.
The time we are all given is limited by its very nature. There are only twenty-four hours in a day, seven days in a week, usually 365 days in a year, and only a short number of years, relatively speaking, that we are on this earth. No doubt about it, time is precious.
I've thought about this a lot lately.
I'm pretty sure of one thing: when that time runs out and people are looking back at their lives, what they remember and appreciate probably is not the car or the movie or the meal either, if they end up getting these things. What they are going to reflect on is the time spent in doing those activities, or the time that was shared with a loved one, in accomplishing those otherwise simple things.
It will not be the borrowing of the car that will be reflected on and remembered fondly in the future, but rather the time that Mom spent teaching you to drive, or the conversations that you had in the car with her, or the roadtrips that you took together as a family.
It won't be the money for the movies that will be remembered and smiled about, it will be the time Dad spent with you going to movies, or the discussions and laughing before or after the movie that will be remembered.
And the meal. It doesn't matter where it came from, supermarket, food bank, delivery. It will be the time spent together to eat it and enjoy each others company at the same time that will live on long after the food is gone.
And even though this gift of time is so important and so very precious, it is not something that we usually ever ask for from someone else. Sure sometimes we do. But for some reason it makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable to ask for time from another person.
Why is that?
Maybe it is the fact that we, ourselves, don't freely share our own time with others that we love.
Maybe it is because we think we are so busy that we just assume everyone else is so busy as well.
Maybe we don't think about it outloud. But there are times, when we are alone, that we do reflect on it. I don't know any person that doesn't wish they could spend more time with their kids and family. Sure, life can get in the way, and we all have responsibilities. But we are also expected to set priorities.
Where does spending time with your family and friends fall on the hierarchy of priorities for you?
Think about it now, just for a moment.
Wouldn't it be nice to just spend a little more quality time with the ones we love?
Wouldn't it be nice to simply have someone's company or be someone's company?
Where can you squeeze just a little more time to spend with them out of your schedule?
Aren't they worth it?
Aren't you worth it?
And guess what, it doesn't cost a penny to give it either. So the next time someone you love or care about asks for something, feel grateful if you can provide it to them. And regardles of whether you can or cannot, think about what it would mean to them, and to you, if you just spent a little time with them as well, or instead.
Remember, we don't usually ask for it, but we usually want it. And so do they.
Let me know what you think!
The Humble Judge!