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  A Christian Faith Magazine April 2005, Volume 10, Issue 9  
The Gift of Time

Rev. Mark Connolly
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One of the greatest gifts God has given to us is the gift of time. From the time we are children we are always taught never to waste our food, never to waste our energy, but rarely are we ever taught how precious the commodity of time is. God gives to each one of us every day 1440 minutes. Every person throughout the world gets the same amount of time. When you think of all the time that we spend standing in line, sleeping or eating, waiting for telephone calls, waiting for a traffic light to change, all of these acts should remind us that so much of our time is more utilized then we ever realized and that this precious gift of getting 1440 actual minutes per day tells us we have to guard in a most sacred way this sacred commodity of time.

How much time throughout the course of a life does a person waste in carrying a grudge? How much time during the course of one's life is that commodity of time wasted because of our desire to get even with someone who has hurt us? How much time in our lifetime could be utilized in offering forgiveness instead of seeking vengeance? When you think of how many people go throughout the course of each day without a compliment without a word of encouragement, without even words of compassion or condolence, it is easy to understand why we have so many unhappy campers throughout our country. How much time does it take you to compliment a co-worker? How much time does it take you to compliment your wife or your husband? Why is it we spend so much time on issues that border on the negative without trying to see how our time could be used so beneficially if we offer a word of charity or a word of tenderness to those with whom we work and live?

All of us grew up with the slogan, it is far better to be thought a fool then to speak and remove all doubt. We can add a corollary to that statement. There are so many people who are lonely, there are so many people who are discouraged, so many people who are depressed who can have a new bounce in their step and a new sense of joy in their life if you took a little time to offer them a word of praise. As we grew up we were always taught about the sins of commission. What I think we have to consider are the sins of omission. How we can use our time to bring a little joy into the lives of others? Do you remember the Prayer of St. Francis in which he says, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me bring love, where there is darkness let me bring light, where there is despair let me bring hope". If you read that prayer closely you will find it is an opportunity for each one of us to teach us how to use time profitability and happily for those who are in want and need.

You really do not have to be a Rhodes scholar to recognize that certain people around you are basically sad or discouraged. When you think of it, you are Christ to them if you offer a word of charity, a word of compassion, a word of consideration. It costs you very little time to bring joy to others by the words you speak. For those who benefit by the words you speak they have many moments filled with joy because of the words of encouragement that you offer them. Just take a little time each day, take a few moments each day to look around and recognize you can you use time so valuably by bringing Christ-like words into the lives of those with whom you work and live.

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