No Time Today

By Pastor E

I walked into my favorite breakfast place, headed to the back corner of the restaurant, and sat in my favorite booth. I’m definitely one of those guys who likes to sit so that I can see everything going on. As I took off my jacket and pushed in behind the table, I noticed an older gentleman sitting in the booth across from me. He sat there with his hand in his lap with a very sad look on his face. He didn’t look familiar to me, not a regular for sure. The waitress stopped by to offer me some coffee and I began to thumb through the news on my phone. 

After a few minutes passed, I noticed the gentleman pull out an old flip phone and began to dial a number. Someone answered on the other end and all I could hear was one side of the conversations. “I thought we were going to meet for breakfast this morning,” said the gentleman. As tears welled up in his eyes I could tell right away that he was upset. “I’ve been here waiting for the past 30 minutes, did you forget?” As tears rolled down his face he said, “I will wait, it’s not like I have anywhere else to go.” At that, he hung up his phone, wiping away tears.   

Another 15 minutes passed and I had finished my normal bowl of oatmeal and 9-grain toast, and a younger woman burst into the restaurant and rushed back to sit at the table with the gentleman. She remarked, “You won’t believe how busy I am dad, you just wouldn’t understand.” The woman began a spree of unloading her issues and problems that lasted through breakfast, the older gentleman not saying much of anything. She couldn’t seem to put her cell phone down as she continued to babble on about her busyness and scrolled through her phone. The woman finished her breakfast and told her dad, “I gotta get going, I have so much to get done today.” She said a quick goodbye, her attention still glued to her phone, and she was back out the door. 

My heart felt so bad as the man sat there alone again finishing his breakfast. I felt a nudge from the Spirit to join him, so I did. I told him that he looked like he could use some company and invited myself to sit down. We introduced ourselves and as we began to talk, his eyes lit up and you could hear the excitement in his voice as he began to share some of his background. Born and raised in the local area into a Christian family, a son of a farmer, the owner of a small business, one child, three grandkids, and a widow of five years. I sat quietly as the gentleman talked for over an hour. In that little bit of time we got to know each other, shared some laughs, and some hard things about our lives. As our time came to a close I asked him, “How are you doing since your wife passed?” The man looked at me and said, “God has blessed me so much over the years, but it’s lonely and nobody seems to have time for this old man.” We sat quietly for a few minutes sipping on the last of our coffee and it was time to say farewell. The man said thank you and he gave me a big hug as I walked him to the door. 

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

Brothers and sisters, are we so busy that we don’t have time for the amazing blessing of our own families? Have our priorities gotten so out of whack that we have forgotten about those who should mean the most to us? Mr. Ron’s story and his situation brought tears to my eyes, broke my heart, and made me stop and reflect on what was most important in life. Are we really so busy that we miss out on the opportunity to BE with the ones we love? If we are too busy for them, what does our relationship with Jesus look like….is there room for him in our lives, does he fit into our calendars? 

“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8

As we navigate the “to and from” of this world, I pray that we keep the things that we say “matter the most” at the top of our priority list. Let’s never take for granted and be too busy for our families and most importantly our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we move closer to good Friday and Easter, be reminded that Jesus made “time” for you and me. You were/are his priority and nothing will ever change that…..all the way to the cross. I’m truly thankful that Jesus wasn’t too busy for me on the day he was crucified and that I was his priority the day he rolled back the stone! I pray we can live in a way that demonstrates this great truth by loving one another and never being “too busy.”   

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

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