Thursday, February 4, 2010

most valuable

From time to time I get a note from a friend or family that leaves me speechless.  Thanks mom!  Today I share with you a story that my mom sent me that helped me to shed a few tears and to get ready to leave the office a bit early.  I need these reminders.  How about you?

Read the story.  I'll leave you a comment at the end.

A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door.

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

"Jack, did you hear me?"

"Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.

"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.

"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.

"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said

"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him.. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture....Jack stopped suddenly.

"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.

"The box is gone," he said

"What box?" Mom asked.

"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said.. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required on a package.. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.. "Mr. Harold Belser" it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.

"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett.  It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: "Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser."

"The thing he valued most was....my time"

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. "Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.

"I need some time to spend with my son," he said.

"Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!"

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away,"

...

Enough said?  Wow.  There are people who have poured into my life through the years.  Some of them had no idea what their TIME with me meant.  

To name them all would take way too long, but I have to give a few names: Trish Elliott Stafford (my 3rd grade teacher), Ted Gose (my next door neighbor who rebuilt 1973 corvettes), Harry Thompson (friend from church), Dan Korver (8th grade Bible teacher), Phil Dietz (my youth pastor), Emory Gadd (an evangelist who spent time with me), ... there are so many ... can't leave out 3 more ... my wife (who puts up with so much and inspires me so often), my mom (who has taught me, stood by me and built into me for 4 decades) and my dad (who means more to me than he will know and still is making a difference in my life).  Wish I could name more for you now.

The last thing I have to give you is a reminder of some gifts God has given me that deserve more than I give ... Rebecca, Ruth and Ryan.  My children. 

Ephesians 5:16 (NASB) --- making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

Proverbs 22:6 (NLT) --- Direct your children onto the right path,and when they are older, they will not leave it.

What is most valuable to you?  More later ...


[+] E-DEVOTIONS: written by Michael Harrison, lead Pastor, The Community Fellowship;  reason to encourage you to follow Jesus; archived at Michael's blog, http://e-devotion.blogspot.com ;  subscribe, unsubscribe or contact  mharrison@thecommunityfellowship.org.

2 comments:

Mary Beth said...

Wow, that's a powerful story! Thanks for sharing this today Michael. I am thankful for all the time you spend in prayer for me and my family. Thank You!

Leo Gallant said...

Great post, amazing how that was on my heart today and I had to take the time to send an email to someone who recently spent some time with me to thank them...God's timing : )

start to pray

Psalm 42:8    NLT But each day the   Lord   pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs,   praying to Go...