Once upon a time, there was an old man who kept his most prized possession locked in a small wooden box which was displayed proudly in his living room. He kept the contents of the box a secret; never opening it or telling anyone what was inside.
A neighbor boy befriended the old man and spent many days at his home. The boy was very curious about the box, but the old man would not allow him to look inside. With a gleam in his eye, the old man would only say that it held his most prized possession.
Relentlessly curious, as young boys are, the boy tried many things to convince the elderly gentleman to share with him the secret of the box. The boy did household chores, ran errands, and sat listening to the man tell tales about his own youth, all in the hopes that he could earn a peep into that tiny, magical, wooden box. On occasion, the boy would beg and plead with the man, but the old man remained stoically determined to keep his secret. The boy never saw inside the box.
Many years later, when the old man died, he left that wooden box to the neighbor boy. The boy, now a grown man, was deeply moved that he was chosen, after all these years, to receive this prized possession. He slowly opened the box and found inside an old, cheap pocket watch. Disappointed, he picked it up and turned it over slowly in his hand. “How could this cheap thing be a prized possession?” the young man wondered aloud. As he returned it to its place in the box, the young man noticed a small, crumbled note in the bottom of the box. Tears filled his eyes as he read the old man’s scribbled words: “The most important thing in my life…my most prized possession…was the time you gave me.”
Like the young boy in this story, I once thought material goods were the most important things in life. I bought into the idea that others valued us for what we could do for them or what we could give them.
Through the years, I have changed my tune. As I’ve grown older, and hopefully wiser, I have learned that TIME is the most important thing we possess. We only have so much time. You can always make more money, buy more cars and get more education, but you can’t replace the time that you have lost.
We all have people in our lives that value our time and try to spend as much time with us as possible. Likewise, we all have people we would love to be able to spend more time with than we are able. What is stopping us from taking the time to spend with our loved ones? What keeps us from sharing our time with those in need? It’s because we still value those other “things” more than we value time.
This really shows up in the time we are willing to give God. Think about it; He came into the Garden everyday just to spend time with Adam. He created us for fellowship with Him. He desires our time, our greatest possession, but He’s left it up to us to decide how much we will give Him.
It’s an awesome thought to know that my relationship with God is my responsibility to maintain. As I become more aware of the importance of time with Him, I seek out more and more ways to be with Him. Sure, we all think about spending time with Him through the Word and in prayer and worship. But, I’ve learned how to spend time with Him at work, as I fellowship with my family, and as I do other things that require my attention. After all God has done for us, and prepared for us, shouldn’t we give Him our time?
~Guest contributor, Bev Vaughn