The youngest just experienced Christmas and two weeks after, his birthday! He got some amazing gifts. I mean some pretty cool things that were impressive and were on the ‘wish list’. But what I witnessed just the other day, was beyond things, and beyond the gifts. He got the cutest, most excited, exuberant giggle, giddy-ness and smile I have seen in a long time. All because he was going to have a friend over.
He has been asking…pestering…..reminding me and bothering for a ‘play date’ with a schoolmate for quite a bit of time. I always encourage my kids to take a little ownership when it comes to arranging these playdates. “Please get me the phone number and you can make a phone call.”
He came home on Friday with a little scrap of paper and a phone number scribbled on it. When he pulled it out to show me, one might have thought it was actually pure gold. “G and I talked…we arranged we could play today and tomorrow…Can I call??!!! Can I!? Please!!!!!!” was the gist of what transpired between youngest and I on Friday immediately after he got off the bus.
Of course I complied. Then the someone awkward, lots of dead silence in between innocent questions, very innocent conversation…which was between the two boys. Both parents were really communicating with each other in the background and helping with ‘grade-school talk’ translation.
And then, the cutest, rarest of giggles and laughs….the one that is so full of joy it just can not be contained. The elated squeal.
I hadn’t witnessed that squeal over any single Christmas present or birthday present…
It was over a simple play date with a grade school buddy. It was a squeal to have TIME with a friend.
I just sat there…huge grin on my face. I was not conspiring to spend zero dollars $ next Christmas and just arrange rare play dates instead (though I should!). I just enjoyed watching the complete surprised joy on the face of my youngest over the simple request to have a play date. But the reality is, time is not as simple of a commodity as it may seem. We are busy. So very busy. Too busy probably. And the stars don’t always align for the simple play date to happen when child 1, 2 or 3 desire. Time is precious. And it was clear that the youngest knew it. He valued the opportunity to spend time with a friend outside of school. He cherished the idea of having this buddy to his house, and showing him the life outside of what they share at school. Unstructured time….to just to do whatever they want. (Well, within reason, of course). Time to just be and get to know each other better.
I think there is a real connection here. Success in this world is measured often by how busy we are. “How are you?” we ask each other, and more often than not, your reply will be summed up in the one word, “Busy,” as if that is the rite of passage that explains to all people what we are doing. But is the busy what we desire…is it fulfilling? Is it enough?
So, time is of value beyond all commodities. There is a lovely quote that says:
We can not add to it.
We can not bank it and grow its worth with interest….
We can only spend it…and how we spend it is a choice…our choice.
I have been experiencing this commodity of “Time” and its importance in a new way recently. I have been away from the family more and spending time working for 3 weeks straight. It is such a good job and I am loving it…and I think we can spend time doing good things (this job is not bad and I hope I add value to each day with students)….but it definitely takes away from the time I get with the most cherished ones…the husband and three young children living under my roof. I can’t add to time, so I am working out the value of time…and where to put the highest priority….I am a work in progress…this involves more patience, faith, practice.
And then, among the balance of it all, we read and hear this: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). Jesus tells us “first”……before everything.
So, the creator of time, the author of life asks me to give him time first…and “all these things shall be added unto you” The perfector of all, omniscient Father in heaven, says He will add all “these things” unto me. Me!?? So do I spend time trusting that He means what he says…oh! Give time to him first? Ouch….not often enough. Its just like my youngest excited over the time spent with a friend–See God, the one who created us, He wants to know us. He has offered this invitation for us to have a ‘play date’ with Him. I think He would love for us to come into His house and get to know it, look around and spend time. He wants to know us outside work, or school, or the busy-ness of life. He probably has that contagious, elated squeal each and every time we say “Yes, I can come over and hang with you today!” So call Jesus back and tell him, “Yes!”
So how shall you spend your time? Each day is new….I am expectant He can help me with my use of time.