Pr. Jaynan Clark

December 4, 2014

photo of Pr. JaynanHis name I probably can’t share but we meet at the gas pump on a regular basis. His folks raised him rightly. He may be “only a gas station attendant” in some judgmental eyes but he is a witness to many. He cares for people. He engages them in conversation. He goes beyond paid for customer service. He gives them his time in a genuine way. I am happy to call him my friend.

He is a young pup. Married young, in his early 20’s but as he leaned on the pump and visited with me during my last fill-up (with all our driving, we meet regularlyJ) he shared that he and his wife had made a decision that this Christmas instead of giving presents to one another they were going to plan a one day overnight mini-vacation. I said to him, “You are giving each other the gift of your time.” He grinned and said, “That is exactly what we are doing” as if that was a new thought. I proffered that they might want to extend that gift giving to those whom they love because giving your time is “priceless and precious.” He inquired, “They wouldn’t think we are being cheap?” “Well, if they do they need a wake-up call to what really has value and limited supply.”

It’s that time of year again. We are coming up on the week of Thanksgiving as I write this and rounding the bend to Christmas with all its “doing.” Lists of “to dos” that cause even the most calm and organized a measureable amount of anxiety. Those who procrastinate and have growing unintentional “to don’t” lists will be, once again, overwhelmed by it all. What a shame. Black Friday now pre-dates itself not only swallowing up Thanksgiving but the week before. No “time” to sit down, give thanks, enjoy your loved ones, serve your neighbor just a rush to buy, buy, buy lots of stuff that nobody needs and few even want, spending money that many don’t even have to spend.

Who will breathe in, breathe out and choose to give the gift of their time to another?

Think how different this season could be for you and yours if you focused on the truth of the celebration: it’s a birthday, a celebration of a special “time” and “life.” It is our time as Jesus’ own children to give Him thanks for all that we have, all that we are and all that we hope to be. It is our time to prepare to celebrate His birth remembering that He was born to die that we might live. Jesus gave you the gift of time. He gave you life here and now. He gave you life for eternity with Him so you could take the time to give it to another-- spend your time re-gifting it.

What a blessed Advent and Merry Christmas it would be for all of you and yours if this was your primary, prioritized “to do” in the coming weeks and beyond. That young gas station attendant was on to something that is not small, cheap or meaningless. It’s time to lend him your ear and in so doing you may hear the voice of Your Lord.