As we all contemplate gifts to give and receive, think about an instance when you received the gift of time. How priceless is this gift! A changed appointment, a canceled event, a child who unexpectedly takes a long nap, all the family out of the house for various reasons—moments that you can seize as your own.
What a delicious feeling—time to do as I please, accountable to no one because no one knew this little drop of heaven was coming my way. How did you use that unexpected time you were given?
Depending on the situation, I’ve reacted in a variety of ways, none of which ever included scrubbing the toilet. Lounging with a good book is at the top of my list, but writing one is a close second. When so many other things called to me, getting uninterrupted writing time was a rare event when my children were home.
Sometimes I’m in the mood to go out with a friend, lingering over a tasty meal or an indulgent dessert with steaming cups of coffee, always laughing and sometimes crying together.
I’ve rented a movie I knew Steve wouldn’t care for and had the popcorn all to myself as I watched and cried over the plight of the heroine.
I’ve called a far-away friend and chatted for an hour, just catching up without interruptions or feeling guilty.
And there are other activities that I want to yearn for but do not—longer time for prayer, delight at having more time to study scriptures, helping a less lovable person in some way. I do these things regularly, but they are not how I use a surprising gift of time. I believe those little gifts of time are from God to refresh my spirit so I can then refresh others.
I’d like to have your comments. How do you use an unexpected gift of time?