Jonathan Edwards said, “…time ought to be esteemed by us very precious, because we are uncertain of its continuance. We know that it is very short, but we know not how short. We know not how little of it remains, whether a year, or several years, or only a month, a week, or a day.”
It is important to be thankful about the little things in life. Yes, the big things often result in thankfulness or a thank you note. But even little blessings or thoughtfulness are a reason to be thankful. Mom understood this, and her life was one of thankfulness. She was thankful for her faithful, providing, protecting husband, thankful for her tiny Waukesha apartment and thankful for the times I took her out to eat at Perkin’s for lunch. But she always thankful for the time she had with me and with the other members of her family. Time is a precious resource. It is easy to overlook the gift of time when it comes to some of the older people in our lives. There isn’t much that most of them want other than time to talk, to laugh, to reminisce and to have the joy of seeing the younger generation growing up and using their time, their talents and their opportunities wisely.
This past week we celebrated Thanksgiving at our son’s home in Illinois. He and his wife Kelly were wonderful hosts and the food was delicious and plentiful. I’m certainly thankful for the food they prepared. I’m thankful they thoughtfully provided me with gluten-free alternatives for the things that normally appear on the Thanksgiving table. But there is something else very precious they gave us.
They gave us the gift of time. It was time to rest from the normal pace and responsibilities of life. It was time to see them in action as a family. It included time to see our son ministering to others as an associate pastor in their church. Let me encourage you to appreciate the gifts of time others give you. Also, don’t forget to be generous with the gift of time as you think about your calendar. You really are not the owner of your time. You are a steward of your time. We are to “redeem the time.”
Jonathan Edwards, the great preacher who lived in the 18th century had this to say in December, 1734: “…those who spend a great part of their time in idleness, or in doing nothing that turns to any account, either for the good of their souls or bodies; nothing either for their own benefit, or for the benefit of their neighbor, either of the family or of the body-politic to which they belong. There are some persons upon whose hands time seems to lie heavy, who, instead of being concerned to improve it as it passes, and taking care that it pass not without making it their own, act as if it were rather their concern to contrive ways how to waste and consume it; as though time, instead of being precious, were rather a mere encumbrance to them. Their hands refuse to labor, and rather than put themselves to it, they will let their families suffer, and will suffer themselves. Pro. 19:15, ‘An idle soul shall suffer hunger.’ Pro. 23:21, ‘Drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.’”
If you would like to read his sermon about how precious time is, here is a link: https://www.apuritansmind.com/puritan-favorites/jonathan-edwards/sermons/the-preciousness-of-time-and-the-importance-of-redeeming-it/