Taking the Time

(by Tank Tankersley)

Almost forty years ago, right out of law school and pre-epiphany, I’d oft have occasion to talk to smarter, more experienced, more successful lawyers on the phone, and I was often struck by their abruptness. “Yeah”, “no”, and the like were typical responses to my inquiries. I recall concluding: “Wow, it’s obvious that these guys have no interest in exchanging the traditional pleasantries.” I might even have imagined them rude. But they weren’t rude, at least no more nor less than anyone else forty years ago, which is to say that they were more polite than almost everyone today. No, they weren’t rude, but they were disinclined to part with any more of their time than was absolutely necessary.

We are the least inclined to part with that we have the least of, and for some folks that’s time. But if all we give is that we’ve got a lot of, is that really the kind of giving that pleases God? God gave his “only begotten son,” not one of several. The poor widow of Mark 12 has been immortalized in the word of God because she “cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

God has blessed me financially. I had nothing to do with it. And I’ll admit that writing a check is sometimes a very easy thing to do. But how meaningful? It is often far more useful and rewarding to meet needs that are not, or are not entirely, financial. Friends can be a greater blessing than bankers. But this may require more of us, something that we are less inclined to part with than money. That something is ourselves.

Perhaps we have the time but not the inclination to “take on other people’s troubles.” God’s word rebukes us: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Emotional burdens can sometimes prove far more dispiriting than financial burdens. Money is sometimes useless. Then, perhaps love will help.

Dana reminded us this past Lord’s Day that we are what, and who, we are because someone took the time to tell us of Jesus. All manner of good things happen, and Heaven rejoices, when someone takes the time.

– Tank Tankersley