The Power of Time

            It’s an honor for me to have the opportunity to share a few thoughts with you now and then about our wonderful Lord and His Word.  It’s a privilege I take seriously.  I’ve heard favorable reports about the impact of certain letters, and, all I can say is, the Lord deserves the praise and glory.  It’s humbling to think that a little prayer, contemplation, and time spent at a keyboard can change someone’s life, even in a small way.  God has been changing my attitudes and ideas about ministering for Him.

            When I was twenty plus years younger, I was quite full of myself.  I was bound and determined to do great things for God through Christian radio.  I had a love-hate relationship with it for years though.  I was sure I knew better than my employers just what Christian radio ought to be.  I won’t go into all that, except to say that I gave my bosses fits, and it’s by God’s grace they put up with me.  I thank God they did.  I’m not sure how much I actually did in my radio work that will be counted for anything at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  It was how I made my living and provided for my family though, and that’s worth something.  Maybe some pithy thing I said on the air or some song I played met somebody’s need at a God-appointed place and time.

            The irony of radio is that a keen focus on people is required for a job that demands solitary work.  The staff very seldom gets meaningful audience feedback about job performance.  My first boss in radio told me not to expect feedback and that I should learn to be satisfied with my own work as its own reward.  I wouldn’t have made it this far without that counsel, because it applies to other areas in life, too.  I’ve had to learn to stifle my own foolish cravings for attention and think of the needs of others.

            Recently my friend D. and I were comparing notes about our experiences of sharing Christ.  He used to work in Christian radio, too, and we agreed it’s easy to hide behind a microphone and talk to people, while talking face to face is another matter.  Poise fails.  The tongue tangles, and the brain turns to mush.  I’m reminded of the Apostle Paul who wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:10 that there were those who thought he could write a good letter, but wasn’t so hot in person.

            Let me point out the significance of time.  You’ve no doubt heard the old saying that people don’t care what you know until they know that you care.  It’s not the slick presentation that counts as much as the time spent with someone.  Paul lovingly nurtured those to whom he ministered.  That cost him considerable time.  He gladly paid the price.

            D. lost a friend he’d known over 35 years to cancer recently, and he felt so inadequate in his efforts to share his faith.  I told him he should have a clear conscience.  He did what he could.  Only the Holy Spirit could have brought her to Christ.  I’m sure she simply appreciated the thoughtfulness of their long conversations in her dying days.  One day we’ll know whether she came to know the Lord and what D.’s role was.

            When my mother had heart surgery, I couldn’t travel 300 miles to be with her.  I called often though, and she truly appreciated hearing from me.  When a good friend’s wife died in 2005, I was at a loss about what to do or say.  My family and I gave of our time for his frequent, lengthy visits.  We shared our love in other ways, too; but I’ve discovered a new meaning to the saying that time heals all wounds.  It’s my time—your time?—spent with someone else that can heal their wounds.  Love really is spelled T-I-M-E.

Explore posts in the same categories: Christian Life, Helping Others, Thoughts from John

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