To A Child, Love is spelled T-I-M-E

by Mac Anderson and Lance Wubbels

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.


It's as simple as this: Love is one investment that will never fail you. And to a child, that
investment is spelled T-I-M-E.

In the faint light of the attic, an old man, tall and stooped, bent his great frame and made
his way to a stack of boxes that sat near one of the little half-windows. Brushing aside a
wisp of cobwebs, he tilted the top box toward the light and began to carefully lift out one
old photograph album after another. Eyes once bright but now dim searched longingly
for the source that had drawn him here.

It began with the fond recollection of the love of his life, long gone, and somewhere in
these albums was a photo of her he hoped to rediscover. Silent as a mouse, he patiently
opened the long buried treasures and soon was lost in a sea of memories. Although his
world had not stopped spinning when his wife left it, the past was more alive in his heart
than his present aloneness.

Setting aside one of the dusty albums, he pulled from the box what appeared to be a
journal from his grown son's childhood. He could not recall ever having seen it before,
or that his son had ever kept a journal. Why did Elizabeth always save the children's old
junk? he wondered, shaking his white head.

Opening the yellowed pages, he glanced over a short reading, and his lips curved in an
unconscious smile. Even his eyes brightened as read the words that spoke clear and
sweet to his soul. It was the voice of the little boy who had grown up far too fast in this
very house, and whose voice had grown fainter and fainter over the years. In the utter
silence of the attic, the words of a guileless six-year-old worked their magic and carried
the old man back to a time almost totally forgotten.

Entry after entry stirred a sentimental hunger in his heart like the longing a gardener
feels in the winter for the fragrance of spring flowers. But it was accompanied by the
painful memory that his son's simple recollections of those days were far different from
his own. But how different?

Reminded that he had kept a daily journal of his business activities over the years, he
closed his son's journal and turned to leave, having forgotten the cherished photo that
originally triggered his search. Hunched over to keep from bumping his head on the
rafters, the old man stepped to the wooden stairway and made his descent, then headed
down a carpeted stairway that led to the den.

Opening a glass cabinet door, he reached in and pulled out an old business journal.
Turning, he sat down at his desk and placed the two journals beside each other. His was
leather-bound and engraved nearly with his name in gold, while his son's was tattered
and the name "Jimmy" had been nearly scuffed from its surface. He ran a long skinny
finger over the letters, as though he could restore what had been worn away with time
and use.

As he opened his journal, the old man's eyes fell upon an inscription that stood out
because it was so brief in comparison to other days. In his own neat handwriting were
these words:

Wasted the whole day fishing with Jimmy. Didn't catch a thing.

With a deep sigh and a shaking hand, he took Jimmy's journal and found the boy's entry
for the same day, June 4. Large scrawling letters, pressed deeply into the paper, read:

Went fishing with my dad. Best day of my life.

As parents, we all have many priorities competing for our time, But there's nothing more
important to remember than To A Child, Love is Spelled T-I-M-E.

"A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of
house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was
important in the life of a child."

-Forest E. Witcraft


Take a moment today in prayer, asking the Lord to strengthen you as a parent.  Ask Him for patience, kindness and understanding with your children and most of all time to spend with them teaching them God's word.  Make every moment count!