When I was younger, there was a tv program called “Bernard’s Watch“, it was about a boy who had a pocket watch which when pressed, stopped time. I used to wonder what I would do if I had the ability to stop time, ideas like:-
- the ability to get homework done in virtually “no time” so that I had more time to do what i wanted.
- The ability to play pranks or correct a mistake before someone realised.
- Being able to borrow videos/books/games from shops so that I could watch, read or play them and put them back before anyone knew that they were missing!
But obviously that is not a possiblity, (at least not at the moment anyway!) The Beatles wrote a song called “Eight Days a Week” there are a few lines that have always stuck in my head
Eight days a week
I love you.
Eight days a week
Is not enough to show I care.
What is our attitude to our “fellow man”? As we all have busy lives, do we need 8 days a week to show that we care for someone other than ourselves?
Being a parent, you have to juggle whether it is more important to spend how much time cleaning your house at the weekend and how much time you spend with your children! I watched a program recently where a father who ran a successful business but had 7 children (because his wife was desperate for a large family), as soon as he got home, he went outside or went to his bedroom and just drank cans of lager! When challenged on this behaviour he replied “I give all I can! I do enough!” He even had a daughter, in her late teens, who apparently never had him read a story to her, as he said “My kids don’t miss me reading to them ‘cos i never have! They have no comparison to say “I prefer daddy reading to me than mummy”” I could not believe it, especially as there is a ridiculously large amount of research saying how important the input of a father is!
Then there is the issue of how much time we are willing to give people that we are not close to, I recently heard this true story-
A man came into a church to speak to a minister, before he had even chance to tell the minister what he wanted, he was told “I only have five minutes!“, to which he unsurprisingly replied “I need more time than that!” and so the minister turned away and walked off!!
I cannot believe that anyone could possibly excuse that behaviour! Especially that despite the man’s appearance (he looked like he was homeless), he apparently had two degrees, one he gained whilst being treated with a condition affecting his brain and the second when he was working two jobs to earn the money! Disrespectful is an understatement! If that happened in a shop, they would lose business! If that happened in a hospital there would be outcry! The guy accused the minister of being a “practical atheist” a religious term basically meaning “all talk, no trousers!”
Jesus condemned such behaviour, he told us to “love one another as I have loved you” and Paul wrote about it in 1 Corinthians verses 1-3
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
When time passes and people look back, what do we want them to remember?
- The time you came home and stayed in your room or the time you played with your kids?
- The time you stopped working so that you could give time to listen to them or the time you say you had no time to help?
- The time you went out of your way to help someone who was too ill to shop for themselves or the time you went home and never visited them?
- The time you left early to pick up your own children or the time you stayed late and they were looked after by a non-relative?
It may seem like an obvious answer to all of them but I doubt any of us truly can say we do the right thing in every situation, but maybe we all need to re-evaluate our priorities!