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The Changing Value of Time

Why is it that when you’re younger and have more time to do things properly you rush through it and when you’re older and have such limited time you usually make the effort to do it right?

Here’s an example. If I were to ask my kids to put away dishes from the dishwasher, some things might be put in the right place while later on I may find bowls shoved into some hole instead of placed with the other bowls. Or when they come in from playing basketball and leave their ball in the family room instead of putting it away (as I’ve asked them hundreds of time).

They feel like taking that extra moment to put a bowl away or replace their basketball is going to derail their entire day. There are more important things to do than clean up or spend extra time on chores!

I do it properly because I need things to fit in the cabinet and run smoothly. My kids won’t be the one looking for something missing, I will. I see a basketball on the floor not only as clutter but as a hazard to someone not paying attention.

These are things my parents tried to teach me and we try to teach our kids.

Time when you’re younger is mostly spent in service of yourself and your desires while growing up means using your time to serve others–your spouse, your kids, your community, your church family, etc.

We begin life with the mentality of “what can I get out of this time” and hopefully move to “what can I give with my time.”

I’m also teaching a college course in music history this semester. I’m amazed how many hours of research, note taking, and preparation goes into each hour and fifteen minute class period. It’s a fascinating subject to me, but still a lot of work and energy.

I think back to when I was in college and thought instructors we’re just being ridiculous with the amount of reading, assignments, and other work that had to be done. I have a job! I thought. I need to hang out with friends! Why would they ask so much of me?

Turns out, the hours I put in every week were probably negligible compared to what my teachers were doing. I was too self-focused to see any of it.

A slacker procrastinates when it is time to plow;
    so when it’s time for harvest, there are no crops in the field. –Proverbs 20:4

If our time is just too valuable to work, give, serve, and love–harvest time will still come but you won’t like what you see.

Not going to lie, I’ve been plenty frustrated at times that my kids didn’t understand the importance of finishing a task properly; but I have hope they’ll see in time as more of their lives are spent in loving and taking care of others.

As much of the world celebrates love today with Valentine’s Day, I want to encourage you to keep loving and serving in the big and small ways. There is a reason and there is fruit.

Also, go recognize someone who’s loved and served you in some way. They’ll be blessed by your noticing, and you’ll get the benefits of living in gratitude.

Have you found this to be true? What are your thoughts on this?

4 Comments

  1. What you’ve pointed out here, Jason, is absolutely true. Children are always racing through time, while adults have learned to pace theirs. And I’m certain that as you and your wife hang in there, your kids will get the hang of what it means to spend more of their time loving and serving others.
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • It can certainly be frustrating at times, but then I think about how long it took me to see it and really begin to think about actually helping or doing things like that. It’s a maturity thing. We’ll all grow in it together. 🙂 Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day too, Martha!

  2. Great thoughts. Most of us looked for the short cuts… only to find that there aren’t any. Not to mention the things that come to us the hardest always pay the biggest dividends later in life.

    Being grateful takes a heart of humility. Like you used in how you see teachers in hindsight.

    Our kids learn by watching… which means there’s hope! It just takes awhile…

    • Ha! Exactly. You don’t realize how much your parents, teachers, or whoever else give and do until you begin to live it yourself. Yes, there is hope! We get to walk in “no condemnation” as we all grow into this maturity. Thank you, Floyd!

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