Time to Plant
By Sandra Fischer
As the calendar rolls over into a new year, many of us pause to think about how we are redeeming our time. We reflect on the past and, dusting off our disappointments, prepare to turn over a new leaf with just a flip of the calendar. The clean, fresh blocks of numbered days hold the promise of a new start, and we're ready to fill the spaces with hopes, plans, and resolutions. In our heart's mind we have all the time in the world to accomplish them. Then, all too soon, December has come again, and we're wondering how the new leaf withered so quickly.
The story is told of a man who instructed his gardener to plant a certain type of tree. The gardener objected, saying the tree was slow growing and would take decades to mature. "Then", the man said, "we must plant it this morning, as we have no time to lose!"
Oh, how year's end makes us keenly aware of that equalizing commodity of life. Time-each of us is given the same amount to spend each day, making us no richer, or poorer, than another.
Unlike money, which can be borrowed or saved, time is redeemed at once and for once. It's much like being given 1440 dollars to spend each day, with the admonition that what isn't spent is lost. (Those who love to shop would relish that challenge. They'd say, "Show us the money,", and head for the mall.)
The truth is, we are given 1440 minutes to spend each day, and what we consume with that time reveals the substance of our lives. We can neither borrow time from the promise of tomorrow, nor can we recycle it from the waste of yesterday. It is a gift-the precious present-which we all receive in the same measure. Our prayer should be that of the psalmist: "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom".¹
We would be like the man in the tree story, planting our time-moment by moment-that none may be lost. Each leaf would be new and fresh, glad in itself, yielding a continual harvest of joy!
¹ Psalm 90:12 NIV
Sandra Fischer taught high school English in Indiana and owned a bookstore for several years. Most of her writing is devoted to stories from her experiences growing up in the Midwest. She has been published in Guideposts, trade journals, and more recently in FaithWriters' Magazine. Sandra is retired and lives in South Carolina with her husband, Craig, where she continues to write. You can write to Sandra through the Letters page of this magazine.
FWD, FWD, FWD
By Edd McGrath
I have a friend who continually sends me forwarded emails. A lot of people forward emails among their other communications, but this friend never sends a personal message. His entire communication with me is made of other people's thoughts.
I'm sure that some of his forwarded messages are worthwhile, but I long to hear from his own heart. I would like to know what is going on in his life, how his wife and kids are doing, how life is treating him. I am tempted to think that his forwarding is a quick way to stay in touch without having to think about really communicating; without sharing his true feelings.
As I was mulling over my latest frustration with his email, I wondered if this is how I treat the Lord. Does He grow weary of my forwarding prayers that are hurried; that are from some habit I developed a long time ago. Doesn't He want the same thing of me that I ask of my friend-to hear my heart; for me to pour out my life before Him and to really communicate?
I'm sure the Lord doesn't delete those forwarded prayers, but I'm also sure He would prefer real personal communication with me.
Edd McGrath is involved in missions and motorcycle ministry. He is a businessman, but has spent a lot of time teaching Bible. Edd is a husband, father, and grandfather, and says he is blessed and happy with his life. If you would like to write to Edd, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.