13 November, 2007

Investing Precious Time

A short time back, I posted about the sad servant who buried his talent, then blamed his decision on his lord. I'd link it, but I'm on dialup, and every little click is a test of my already pathetic patience. Add to that the agony of having to type without my Greeg
Shorthand crutch, and I'm in deep blogger misery. (Deep BM for short.)

Today Fay, my mother in the Lord, read me a passage from a book written in the sixties that made an excellent point.


When we give each other our time, we are giving the most precious gift there is; we are giving our life to each other. Someone dropped me a quick note the other day asking about an issue from a month ago. To do so, she gave me a couple slices of her life. She gave me something of real and deep value when she thought about me, and then did it again when she turned that thought into an email. And the time she spent in prayer on my behalf was of equal value because each prayer cost precious minutes of her life, given for me.

Yes, the allusion to Christ's saying, "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay his life down for his friend," is intentional.

There is a negative side to this insight.

In light of the golden gift time can be, the investment-grade deposit most Christians are making into their televisions is terrifying.

Time is the golden commodity. We are told to deposit our treasures in heaven for our own selfish good. We are advised to do those things that will make us rich. We know we should invest a solid portion of our earthly money into things that will bring us a good return, but we should learn this about our time too. Our financial debts usually cause us to invest too little, but in time we are all similarly wealthy. We all have 24 hours every day, and a day's worth of duties.

The average American invests (approximately, from memory) 4-5 hours of those 24 into their televisions. I have no equivalent statistic for Christians, and I'm not sure I want to know. What I do know is the average television experiences no depression while being ignored, but the average Christian does. The average television will not testify anything good about its benefactors on the judgement day, while the average Christian will. I'm worried even that the average television might not even look back fondly on those who remembered and loved it.

A cup of coffee between saints will be remembered.

How valuable is a cup of coffee?

A cup of coffee is more valuable than anything heaven has to offer. You see, a cup of coffee takes time, and we've only 70 years down here to do everything in our hearts. Every second I share with a saint is a second that he is the most valuable thing in my life, and that investment returns forever. If we wait until heaven to sit down with the saints, we lose all that interest. Heaven has unlimited time, so there's no sacrifice in sitting down with a brother in heaven. Time on Earth is brutally precious, so every minute shared is precious. Such is the reality of supply and demand. And the law of compound interest says the more time we spend and the longer the period of investment, the more our investment grows.

Investing an hour in a cup of coffee may once have been a small thing in American culture; I wouldn't know. Today, though, that hour is seldom found. Maybe if we look hard enough, we can reallocate a few more of them to richer ends.

I suspect the Lord will entrust the rule of cities to those who find that hour most often.


Milly said...

Good stuff sir. It means a lot having someone spend a few moments in our lives. Notes, calls, and a cup of coffee can go a long way in showing how much we care about each other.

Anonymous said...

wish we could have coffee!~karen

Weekend Fisher said...

And the choir said: Amen.