Controlling my time for other people

Gina Hatchett

This past August, I received a call that my childhood best friend had unexpectedly passed away. She was a beautiful 21-year-old college student leaving two parents and her siblings. Our families were best friends when I used to live in California. But, when I moved, communication between us dwindled and abruptly stopped.

While catching up with her mom over spring break, she said those who came to the funeral repeatedly described her daughter as “generous with her time.” No matter what she was doing, she would drop everything for a friend in need of comfort, advice or to unload about life. I fought back tears because a pang of instant conviction and sadness struck my heart.

Since that conversation, the idea of being generous with my time has been rolling around in my brain. 

Earlier this semester, my Bible study and I read through one of the stories of two sisters named Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Jesus was coming over to  their house and the two prepared for His coming in different ways. Martha was busy getting things set up and serving,  while Mary opted to simply sit at His feet as He spoke.

Martha got all up in arms over her sister’s lack of service and complained to Jesus. “But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’” Disclaimer: serving  and working hard, especially to glorify the Lord, are awesome things.

But, that is not the point of the passage. Mary chose to be present before Jesus because she knew that was the most important and edifying thing she could do at that moment.

As I scroll down my Facebook feed and see all memes that are accurate descriptions of my life, it is too easy to get overwhelmed with my schedule. But, life will always be a thing. Being present for loved ones will not always last.

John 15:13  reads, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” For me, choosing to invest in people instead of my deadlines is a way that I can shine not only for the Lord and the hope that I have found in Him,  but also in remembrance of my sweet friend. The idea of laying down one’s needs and wants for those of a friend is a beautiful, tangible and unforgettable display of love.