First things first: Anyone new to this blog or anyone who hasn’t read from here lately needs to know one super important thing before reading on – everything the Lord lays on my heart to write about and share is stuff He’s working on in ME. If it resonates with you and you take it to prayer and benefit from it – awesome. But you should know that I am not sharing anything with you that I do not already feel convicted about myself. So there’s that. All righty then! 🙂
You’ve heard this before, right?
One of the greatest and most precious gifts we can give to a person is the gift of our TIME.
Time is something that once given, we don’t ever get back. It’s one of our most precious little things that we hoard ~ often held so very close and even greedily to ourselves (you can admit it, right?). It is often used as our excuse for what we can’t or don’t do, and can even be a false idol, if we really stop and think about it.
We like to say that we DON’T HAVE enough time. But it seems to me that we sure do waste a lot of it.
Surfing the Internet –
Event after Event after Event (including the good stuff)
And so on and so on and so on!
And don’t even get me started on all the scattered (many) things we run to that aren’t necessary.
These aren’t all bad things, but they can be time suckers. Even serving at every church or charitable event, signing up for every last possible activity ever offered for our kids or at their schools, or always working overtime when it really may not be necessary, can whittle away at this very valuable time-thing. And guess what? That can take away from what God values- yah – the people-thing.
Ever heard the phrase “too much of a good thing can be bad?” It’s true. I used to be involved in just about ever extra activity you could count up to – and they were GOOD things. It was too much. I was ignoring what was MOST important, man. And God found His wonderful way to make it abundantly clear to me. He’s good that way.
We can fill our time very easily and before we know it, there’s nothing left for some of the things God may be calling us to invest in – like HURTING PEOPLE.
Are there people out there within our reach that could really benefit if we invested real time in them?
What about those who are hurting or reeling right about now?
How about the folks you know who need more than a quick check-in to see how they are here and there?
Someone in mourning? Going through a serious challenge in their life? Struggling with a new chronic illness, a divorce, or the loss of a child? Anyone out there you know that is feeling totally alone and needs a friend?
What about them?
I also see a lot of the division that is increasing in relationships lately – ALL kinds of relationships – And some of it is happening because of two things that could be avoided, or at the very least, diminished greatly: Miscommunication and Differences in Perception.
Guess what a root solution is for a lot of that kind of junk?
Invest. The. Time.
- Invest the time to discuss things – not sweep them under the rug. I always like to say – if you sweep the crap under the rug the room will start to STINK even WORSE than it did in the first place! The rug may look pretty on the top side, but something beneath it is starting to FERMENT. (graphic, but true).
- Invest the time to allow everyone to be heard and WORK THROUGH solutions – together.
- Invest the time to follow up and follow through and do it for the long term, man.
- Invest the time to be a REAL friend. Not with everyone – just with that person God is placing right in front of you and that the Holy Spirit is nudging you about. #justdoit
Hit and miss is not gonna cut it when people are hurting deeply or are facing insurmountable obstacles. This is what Jesus did and still does in and through us if we follow His example. He INVESTED in those disciples of His, man. He caused them, commanded them, and inspired and equipped them to invest in one another. Yes – they reached out to the masses here and there and then had to move on to the next crowd, and every person that Jesus touched was blessed in some way, even if they didn’t get to be as close to him long-term as the disciples did. But Jesus modeled what it is to truly invest in those immediately around us – for the long haul. And then they invested, and they invested, and they invested.
Not gonna happen without giving up that precious time.
Jesus often stopped right in His tracks to deal with a situation at hand even when He was already on the way to go somewhere else! He didn’t wait to deal with that person in need – he stopped and helped that person right in front of Him.
True discipleship and real help and support cannot really happen without a commitment of our time. It won’t happen if we aren’t willing to slow down and stop for someone. It takes a true desire to see how we can MAKE the time. And it takes true compassion, and an intense drive to keep our eyes open and LOOK FOR THOSE who God may be placing in our path.
It takes being present. It takes a commitment. It takes a desire, drive and dedication. It takes seeing it – the need for it. And no one person can do it all. That’s not what Jesus modeled for us anyway.
That’s why it takes a village, man. A village to invest in others. A village to communicate one with another so all the pieces fit together. A village to look under every rug that the crud is getting swept under and GET. IT. OUTTA. THERE.
It takes more than one or two warm bodies.
It takes more than a passing “hope you’re doing okay.”
It takes TIME and a whole lot of it.
Nothing changes if nothing changes. Not in most cases, at least. But at the same time, not much will change when folks are facing serious struggles and we aren’t willing to come alongside them and invest in them. All the way.
Yes – we have to have some quiet time with the Lord – we can NOT sacrifice that, and are NOT called to do so!
Yes, we have our own spouses and our families. They are the people (disciples, anyone?) that we live with and do life with all the time and come right next in line to our time spent with Jesus.
Yes, we have jobs, church commitments, and extra-curricular activities. I personally have found that even those things can’t always come in line first before people though. How about you? We are called to be good stewards of such things, but we sometimes have to make tough decisions there when weighing priorities in life.
For me, I just found that I came to a point where I truly had to ask myself – “what am I doing with the rest of my time, really? Am I investing in what GOD would have me do? Or what I think is most important?” These questions don’t just get asked once – I find I have to do it every week, seriously! Because that wasting time thing or not having my priorities straight thing starts to sneak right back up on me. #stealthy
I can help another even while I am resting with my crazy-messed-up Fibro Body from my bed and with my computer or my phone and at least spend TIME talking with them in that way. That’s something!
I can meet them for lunch or at church or have them over to the house whenever possible to have some face to face time as well. And that’s even better.
I can think of them, pray specifically for them, and TELL THEM I AM DOING SO every single day through a quick text, (this is how facebook messenger can be a VERY good thing), sharing of a specific prayer, and a wonderful scripture verse the Lord lays on my heart that just very well may comfort them.
All these little things really do add up to a lot of time – and once we realize our time is really not OURS anyway – we can embrace giving it away.
Not at the expense of our relationship with Jesus. Not at the expense of our spouse, children or families who need us and live right next to us.
But in addition to that. And it can happen.
I wish I could make the time to be able to be intensive with my time with everyone that I feel called to invest in. I wish sometimes we could all just live together – say 12 or 13 of us – like Jesus and the disciples did. But asking Jesus to help us make every extra moment count for something (even for rest or quiet time – we gotta be filled too, or we start to run on empty), really does make a difference.
God will make the way if we simply ask Him to do so.
Let’s make the time and give of ourselves in this way freely. And let’s realize it isn’t really ours to keep all to ourselves anyway. Jesus does. And if the Savior of the World could “make the time” maybe we could stand to do so as well.