|Pete, Judi, and me August 7, 1999|
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father. – James 1:17 NIV
When I opened the card from my sons on Christmas Eve, I cried. I totally didn’t expect a round-trip airline ticket to Montgomery, Ala., where my brother Pete lives.
I haven’t seen Pete since our sister’s memorial service nearly 11 years ago. You never know what’s around the next bend, so it’s a crying shame that over decade has passed since I’ve spent real-time, face-time with the only sibling I have left.
But life gets busy, and a trip to Alabama was more of an item for the bucket list than the do-list—for more reasons than I just couldn’t find the time.
First, the expensive airfare. Second, after my last flying fiasco, I vowed never to fly again unless it was absolutely necessary. Third, we didn’t have a vehicle that was trip-worthy until last year, and a drive to the Heart of Dixie wasn’t feasible or affordable. There were too many other, more immediate needs and concerns.
But when I bought myself a used elliptical machine two weeks before Christmas, my boys had to come up with another gift idea for me.
It was my husband who suggested it. He knew my brother, who is 5 years older than me, has been dealing with health issues for several years, and the past couple of months brought a few scares.
So today I’m flying out of Pittsburgh—first class—for a one-week visit with my brother and his wife—and I’m not taking my laptop. Work is not on the agenda for the next week. I’m going to spend the time with my loved ones.
It’s the perfect gift. My boys have not only given me something I couldn’t afford, they have also given me the precious gift of time with my brother.
Time is an excellent gift. It requires sacrifice—giving of something that you can’t get back, something that costs nothing in dollars and cents, but is priceless in terms of value.
You give the gift of time:
- When when you stop what you’re doing and listen—really listen—to what someone is saying.
- When you put away what you’re working on and play a game with your grandchildren, even though you’re on a deadline.
- When you have lunch with a friend.
- When you make a pot of soup for a neighbor who’s ill.
- When you crochet afghans for each of your grandchildren.
- When you make your son’s favorite pie from scratch.
- When you make homemade noodles for your husband’s birthday dinner.
- When you do something that’s on your wife’s to-do list so she can have time to do something she really wants to do.
- When you stay with a young mother’s children so she can get some precious time to herself or go grocery shopping.
- When you spend two weeks at your daughter’s home while she recovers from surgery.
Look at the list of birthdays and anniversaries coming up. Where can you give the gift of time?
Father, show me more ways to give the gift of time. Amen.