So long I’ve heard it said that ‘Time Is Money’. The only source of money for such as myself is labor. Consequently, the more time spent in labor must result in more money. So, I jumped on the wheel and ran.
Running first with values fairly reasonably stacked by priority but for certain moments, maybe days, weeks…only one ‘priority, one ‘goal’ like the proverbial carrot, nothing else considered. All else falling behind and filling in—squeezing in- whenever there was time for them.
Then a disturbance, an irritation, started working on me. Not only were my priorities- my values-out of order but they were also out of proportion. So much so that some-ones which I had valued at an earlier time- were becoming extinct.
This disturbance kept questions running through my mind- incomplete thoughts that needed completing. Until one day a transition took place – Time Is Money- Time Is Money- Time is…Time is… Time is…Time Is Love.
Time Is an act of love when it contains kindness, concern; when it is given to lending a helping hand, admiring, encouraging, comforting, sharing- sharing a loaf, sharing a laugh, sharing a life in a beautiful world.
Written by our friend Richard Brewer- 1931-2018– Husband, father, Navy man, Cribbage/Scrabble player, book lover, now a guest blogger.
A life isn’t significant except for its impact on other lives.- Jackie Robinson
Antonio Basco lost his wife, Margie, in the El Paso Walmart shooting. She was his only family. He called for the community to join him at her service to say goodbye. The church was packed to capacity with 500 inside with another 1000 standing outside. He received flowers from around the world and was greeted with hugs and applause as he entered the service which brought a smile to his face. The community came together through love and compassion to make Antonio, a broken and lonely man, feel like somebody that mattered.
You can find a nugget of wisdom in the most unlikely of places. I bought a coloring book ,the “Groovy Abstract Coloring Book”, for my grandchildren and I to color together. On the back of one of the coloring pages was written:
Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.
I thought of this when I read about Mr. Basco.
To overcome we have to believe it matters that we do. To believe that we have to believe that we matter.
I am taking a chance and speaking for everyone when I say we all want to feel significant. It is a common denominator we all share no matter where we breathe in the world or the background from which we come.
I learned this one night in a small house in north Nashville where I helped with leading a small, faith-based group made up of black, urban, loving, young adults from a background of generational poverty, public school disparity, violence, fatherlessness- you name the social justice issue and it was represented.
On this particular night, there was a volunteer who helped sometimes who was a middle-aged affluent white man, a good man, doing good things. He came from a background of private school and lived in an upscale part of Nashville. And there was me. Somewhere in between. .
Our icebreaker question was: What is one goal you want to accomplish in your lifetime? The nice, well -to-do man answered : To have some significance to others.
I was struck by his answer because he had the thing that our world says would already make someone significant -affluence, correct? Secondly, it was the same for the young adults there without a privileged background. In the big picture, they were coming to this group looking for significance, to grow, to matter.Two totally different demographics- age, race, background- all with the same need to feel like a significant someone.
Being a person of faith, I was reading my bible one day and began thinking about the instructions given that we should write certain things on the “tablet of our heart.” As I thought it through, what is written on this tablet seems a very significant thing as we travel through this life. I do believe that we can write on the hearts of others with our words and actions…for the positive or negative.
How can we make everybody feel like somebody in a positive way? How can we write good things on their heart and help them feel significant?
Be interested- I believe this is one of the most effective ways of encouraging others. Show that you’re interested in what they’re doing. Get them talking. Affirm what is important to them. Their passion might not be your passion but a friend once said, “Someone who can’t understand someone else’s passion probably has none of their own.”
Acknowledge contribution big or small– . A simple “great job” or “thank you” can have a strong impact, which can make the difference between going on or giving up. Even better in today’s world, get that pen, paper and stamp out and send a handwritten note through snail mail!
Gratitude– express it! I told my children “People don’t have to do nice things for you, show appreciation when they do.”
Be present and listen! There is nothing that makes someone feel of less value than talking with someone who is constantly checking their watch, phone, email or staring at the television.
RAK-Random acts of kindness– A friend recently showed up at my office with a dozen roses and a card on an especially hard day just for no reason at all! I will never forget it!
Kind words– Letting someone know something you admire about them or like about them can change a life. Sometimes we see good things they may never see themselves.
Hospitality- invite someone you might not normally hang with for a meal or dessert and coffee. I know one family who did this with “Soup Sunday” and a woman that has “share my table” Sundays.
Use your gifts– We all have them. Look for ways to use them to encourage and strengthen others.
Let the other person shine– If they are sharing something they feel good about no need to “one up”- let them have their moment.
Author and speaker Rob Bell, in his short film “Luggage”, talks about the wounds we all experience. Some are little and we should just get over them but some are big and heavy and deep. We want to be rid of these, free of them, put them behind us, right? Who wants to live life as the walking wounded? How do we do it though? They can last a day, ten years or a lifetime until they are just a part of who we are.
“We’ve all got scars. Words that were said to you when you were young… Things you saw that you should never have seen… Lifelong consequences from stupid decisions, whether ours or someone else’s…
Make sure that they are SCARS not WOUNDS. If you keep finding that you are sensitive about certain things, held back by the same unreasonable fears, or that you keep making the same bad decisions repeatedly, or that you have habits you just can’t quit…. chances are good that you have a wound that never healed right. It’s not a scar, it’s a wound or an infection. Get it cleaned out and get it healed. If that means you need to get some professional help, to talk to a trusted friend about it, or whatever – the only person that can make the decision to get that part of your life healed is you. A scar shows you’ve been through the process.
An overly sensitive attitude, a destructive habit, a fearful mindset just shows that you have a wound you need to work on”, writes author Josh Hatcher.
The day we found out a freshmen took his life at the high school where I work is the first night that I talked with James.** He was also a freshmen in that same school as well as a student at the youth non-profit where I volunteer. That evening I noticed he was eating dinner at a table by himself and I went to sit with him. We began to chat about the sadness of the school day.
I have never talked to a person who seemed as despondent and depressed as James. I sensed it was not just the loss that had happened at school but there was a heaviness about him like he had been carrying a load for so long. I was very alarmed.
I spoke with the youth directors, asked our Preston Taylor Ministries (“PTM”) Board of Directors to pray for him at our meeting the next morning and went to school and asked our principal if he could eat lunch with me in my office once a week. I also learned he was doing poorly in school.
Our first lunch, thinking he would not want to talk much, I was ready with a Yahtzee game. He talked through that lunch and every lunch as the school year progressed. He shared that he hated school, he liked none of this teachers or classes. He felt dumb and angry that he felt dumb. He had experienced problems and losses at home as well. Things not in his control. He felt interested in nothing and good at nothing.
I noticed he always wore his obviously heavy backpack on his back, never putting it down. One day I asked him, “James, what do you have in that backpack?” “It’s just my stuff and I don’t want to put it down.”
I took the opportunity to tell him that every time we experience trauma or hurt in life it can be like a brick is put in our backpack. It gets heavier and heavier until we can hardly stand up if we can’t find a good way to unload the bricks.
As the year went on, he was surrounded by caring adults as well as being tested at school for learning differences. It seems the system had failed him as he should have been tested years prior. He did test with learning differences which explained his difficulties at school. How tragic that it took until high school to get the help he needed years before!
We now spent lunches talking through how he should not feel dumb or ashamed any longer.
With love and support from home, school and PTM, by the end of the year James was smiling and his step seemed lighter. He was making some effort at school as he no longer felt “slow” and “dumb” but more optimistic that he could learn. Being able to smile seems a small thing but very huge for this young man. #overcoming
What’s in your figurative “backpack”? Maybe you have been carrying a heavy load for a long time. I have certainly carried some heavy weights in my life. What wounds haven’t healed? God does not want us to live like that. Rob Bell says that maybe you should say, “I am not going to carry this around for one more day.”
When I have finished with all I can do , I have found much peace from saying, “God, it is your turn. I no longer know what to do.” And then I rest as carrying bricks around can be exhausting. And suck the life right out of you in some cases.
I hope you can find what makes you feel centered and peaceful.
I hope you write on the “tablet of your heart” (from Proverbs) that you are loved and your wounds heal forming a scar that shows you are an overcomer.
This song is beautiful:
Keep the Faith #ktf
**Name changed to protect privacy. I was granted permission to share but decided not to use his real name anyway.