What would you give?


What would you give? Is there anything or anyone you would give everything for? This week we pause as a nation to give thanks. Some of us will thank others, some will thank God, some will thank something, and others won’t give thanks for many reasons.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are the loneliest and saddest days of the year for many. What would they give for peace of mind? What would they give for freedom from pain? What would they give for someone?

In the busy-ness of what we refer to as the holiday season, “hopes and fears of all the years” are always in the background. Everyone has fears, of course. But, what about hope? Do we all have hope? Does hope truly spring eternal? Unfortunately, many among us have no hope.

Whole communities, churches, and a host of organizations, not to mention families and individuals will give to meet many needs of those far and near. The South is particularly noted for giving, for rallying around those who need the most. Most southern adults have learned that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive. And, we do.

Years ago I asked our pastor what the church needed most from members. Without hesitation he replied, “Time.” He went on to say members were always generous to meet fiscal needs in the church, community, and around the world. Those are easy needs to meet, and don’t really cost anyone more than he or she could spare. But, time is much more valuable than money, and we’re all guilty to one extent or another of hoarding our time for what’s most important to us.

Last week a friend lamented that she was a “crappy” friend! I told her she was a very good friend! She thanked me and said, “but I wish I had more time to invest in my friendships.” How many of us have ever shared her wish? Oh, sure, all of us have wished for more time! But, how many of us have wished for “more time to invest” in friendships? Wow!

Many know the story of the two slips of paper legendary football coach Bear Bryant carried in his wallet: one a prayer, and the other a story about a magic bank account that was filled with $86,400 every morning.

Here’s the prayer: “This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is very important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving something in its place I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, not loss …good, not evil … success, not failure in order that I shall not forget the price I paid for it.”

The story about the $86,400 is really about the 86,400 seconds in a 24-hour day. So, you see, the prayer and the story are about the same thing. What will we do with the time we have been given?

What will we give this year? Is there anything or anyone we would give everything for, even all of our time? Let’s all give thanks this year by giving time.