There once was a father who had two sons and a daughter. One Christmas he decided to give them all a gift. When Christmas morning came, the children all ran downstairs excited to open their gifts. As they tore into the packages, each of them pulled out their very own chunk of time.
The gifts, however, all had different amounts of time in them so it wasn’t long before the children were fighting and complaining about how unfair it all was. The father just shushed them all and quietly explained that they shouldn't be concerned because when the time ran out, then he would give them the real gift that he’d been waiting all his life to give them. This pleased the children and soon the ones with the least amount of time were bragging and the others were jealous. The father then shushed them all again and explained that it was not so much about how much time they had, but about how well they spent it that mattered.
The next morning each of the children got up and began using their time. The first child thought to himself, “I don’t have much time to spare, I’d better start getting everything I can in the time I’ve got so it doesn’t go to waste.” And so he did. before long he had a big mansion all to himself and a very nice sports car.
The second son saw how the first had spent his time and thought to himself, “how foolish! I’m going to use my time for something far more important than myself. Dad will be proud!” And so he began to go out and give away all of his time to others. Soon everyone knew him as the man who gives away time. He was very well loved by everyone and they gave him many awards for his generosity.
As all this was happening, the daughter, who’s name was Sophia, watched how her two brothers used their time and thought to herself, “hm… those are good ways to use time, but I wonder what dad really meant when he told us that we should spend our time well?” And so she took her time and every day should give some of it to her father. They would spend their time together laughing, talking and even weeping over the two brothers that they barely knew. Over time, they learned to love each other as fathers and daughters should. After spending this time with her father, she began to understand what it meant to use her time well and so she would go out and spend the rest of her day in a way that made him smile.
Although this parable has nothing to do with my family,
I thought this picture illustrated the relationship well.
My Dad is a great example of someone who spends quality time with his children.
I wrote this parable while sitting out in the woods enjoying the gift of time that was graciously and thoughtfully given to me by several of my good friends Laura and Rob. I had thought that I was giving that evening to Laura, but she was sneaky and seeing what I needed, gave it right back to me and literally told me to "get lost" :) As I sat out there enjoying the time, I realized that I was becoming like the sons in this parable toward God. I was using all my time up either for myself or giving it away. As I thought about it, this parable came to mind and I began to realize just how much I had missed those times with God.
Also on this trip, I had the time and opportunity to do some artistic photography which you can see the results of here. https://picasaweb.google.com/Kroto1/TheGiftOfTime#
Hope you enjoyed it and I hope that you will make the time to get to know your God before someone has to force it on you. :)