Pulpit Notes: Time — The Gift of Our Presence

I read a story about an unusual crime that took place years ago. Apparently some juvenile delinquents gained entrance to a large department store late one night, and, rather than steal any items, they methodically went about changing price tags. For instance, they took the price tag from a pair of men’s socks and exchanged it with a diamond ring. At first, their crime might seem humorous, but they were so thorough in the number of price-tag exchanges they made that the store had to close the entire next day — at tremendous cost to the owners — to restore the tags to the proper items.

This crime does, however, make me wonder how our culture also assigns the wrong values to many things. I was reminded of a line in a song by the musician David LaMotte. His song “Deadline” contains the lyric, “There’s no time like the present, and no present like time.”

Time is a precious gift of God, and so often in our lives I fear we misjudge its true value. If you ask any mature young adult what the most precious thing his or her parents ever gave him or her, and I bet they probably will tell you, “Time.”

How true this is in other important human relationships as well. I may have many responsibilities as a pastor: preaching, teaching, moderating meetings, administration, and counseling, but one responsibility that never fades is that of pastoral care. Of course, this is not only true for pastors.

People need time. It is the most precious gift — given in the form of our presence — that we give others to show how much we care. Today, think about time. Time is one of the most precious gifts God has given us. There are many things that we must accomplish in our lives, but we must remember that time is a limited resource. Ask yourself, “How will I invest my time this week?”

May God grant you the insight to understand the value of your time and your life.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time … .” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11a)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor