I’m convinced that the most precious resource on the planet is the resource of time.
Offer a dying person a pile of money, or a luxury yacht, or another year of time, and I guarantee they will choose the gift of time, every time!
Time is the most fairly distributed and egalitarian of our natural resources: we receive it in 24-hour increments with no discrimination. It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are or where you were born.The color of your skin makes no difference to your daily allotment nor does your gender. We each get 24 precious hours per day.
In preparation for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, I’ve been thinking about the long parade of people who chose to invest some of their precious time for my sake. I’ve been considering some influential teachers, professors, friends, coaches, pastors, and colleagues who have blessed me along the way. But there is one shining figure at the front of this parade who sacrificed time for my benefit: Marcia Yvonne Frieswyk, AKA my mom. She is the gold medal winner for me.
Just this week, after a short worship service at the Park Place retirement community in Elmhurst in which we sang a number of lively old songs together, a seasoned saint asked me, “Where did you learn to play the piano like that? How did you learn to improvise around all these songs?” The answer came easily from my lips, “My mom taught me.”
For the record, my mom never actually gave me any piano lessons. My mom’s musical aspirations for her children had been worn down to a nub by my four older siblings. My mom chose a different way with me and ditched any semblance of formal musical education. Instead, she simply let me listen to her play. My mom had the gift. The way she engaged a piano was joyful and strong. If she heard it, she could play it.
Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on a piano bench, or happily curling up underneath that same wooden bench, while my mom practiced songs for church. She played some classical music, but mostly she played the hymns and choruses and tried to figure out how to render them in such a way that would inspire people to join in with full heart and voice. Some of what she was doing sunk in.
Education experts will tell you that real knowledge is “caught rather than taught.” What we catch from the folks who invest in us sinks down to the level of marrow, far deeper than mere book learning or school smarts.
I encourage you this Thanksgiving holiday to give thanks for the kind people who have shared the precious gift of time with you—AND in honor of those who did just that, to also find some younger folks to wisely spend your most precious natural resource on. One final thought:
God who is eternal and outside the bounds of space and time (indeed he made them!), chose to enter the confines of the space-time continuum in Jesus. Jesus literally spent his every breath, all of his earth-bound time, the full span of his days, out of love for you and me.
It’s Thanksgiving. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good! His love endures forever!