Tag Archives: help

Encouragement

Is This True of Me?

From: My Utmost For His Highest

None of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself . . . —Acts 20:24

It is easier to serve or work for God without a vision and without a call, because then you are not bothered by what He requires. Common sense, covered with a layer of Christian emotion, becomes your guide. You may be more prosperous and successful from the world’s perspective, and will have more leisure time, if you never acknowledge the call of God. But once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God asks of you will always be there to prod you on to do His will. You will no longer be able to work for Him on the basis of common sense.

What do I count in my life as “dear to myself”? If I have not been seized by Jesus Christ and have not surrendered myself to Him, I will consider the time I decide to give God and my own ideas of service as dear. I will also consider my own life as “dear to myself.” But Paul said he considered his life dear so that he might fulfill the ministry he had received, and he refused to use his energy on anything else. This verse shows an almost noble annoyance by Paul at being asked to consider himself. He was absolutely indifferent to any consideration other than that of fulfilling the ministry he had received. Our ordinary and reasonable service to God may actually compete against our total surrender to Him. Our reasonable work is based on the following argument which we say to ourselves, “Remember how useful you are here, and think how much value you would be in that particular type of work.” That attitude chooses our own judgment, instead of Jesus Christ, to be our guide as to where we should go and where we could be used the most. Never consider whether or not you are of use— but always consider that “you are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19). You are His.

 

encouragement

Inspire21.com

“How do you know if a man needs encouragement? If he is breathing.”
– Truett Cathy, Founder, Chick-fil-A

With so many people in the world telling us we can’t succeed, we need to hear people telling us we can. I remember my high school English teacher telling me not to apply to Cornell University because they wouldn’t accept me and even if they did I wouldn’t be able to do the work. (It’s funny that I’m a writer now). I almost didn’t apply but a few days later I saw Ivan Goldfarb, a former teacher, in the hallway and asked him about Cornell. He said, “If you get in, then you go. You can do it.” His words made all the difference. I applied, was accepted and majored in Lacrosse :).

Too often we think it’s our role to inject a dose of “reality” into someone’s life. We think it’s our job to protect people from the pain of failure and defeat. We think we must point out how bad the economy is and how horrible the job market is and how the sky is falling. We think that dreams were meant for others.

I say there are enough pessimists and “realists” in the world. The world doesn’t need more negativity and impossible thinkers. The world needs more optimists, encouragers, and inspirers. The world needs more people to speak into the hearts of others and say “I believe in you.” “Follow your passion and live your purpose.” “If you have the desire then you also have the power to make it happen.” “Keep working hard.” “You’re improving and getting better. Keep it up.” “The economy is tough but you can still grow your business.” “The job market is not great but I believe you’ll find the right job for you.” “We’ve hit a lot of obstacles but we’ll get the project finished.” “Even if you fail it will lead to something even better.” “You’re learning and growing.”

When it comes to encouragement I know that everyone of us loves working for and with people who bring out the best in us. We love being around people who uplift us and make us feel great. And while we’ll always remember the negative people who told us we couldn’t accomplish something, we will always cherish and hold a special place in our heart for those who encouraged us.

Today I want to encourage you to be an encourager. So often the difference between success and failure is belief. And so often that belief is instilled in us by someone who encouraged us. Leadership, after all, is a transfer of belief.

Today decide to be that person who instills a positive belief in someone who needs to hear your encouraging words. Uplift someone who is feeling down. Fuel your team with your positive energy. Rally others to focus on what is possible rather than what seems impossible. Share encouragement. It matters and we all need it

 

Streams In The Desert

As soon as the soles of the feet of the priests… shall rest in the waters… the waters shall be cut off (Joshua 3:13).

The people were not to wait in their camps until the way was opened, they were to walk by faith. They were to break camp, pack up their goods, form in line to march, and move down to the very banks before the river would be opened.

If they had come down to the edge of the river and then had stopped for the stream to divide before they stepped into it, they would have waited in vain. They must take one step into the water before the river would be cut off.

We must learn to take God at His Word, and go straight on in duty, although we see no way in which we can go forward. The reason we are so often balked by difficulties is that we expect to see them removed before we try to pass through them.

If we would move straight on in faith, the path would be opened for us. We stand still, waiting for the obstacle to be removed, when we ought to go forward as if there were no obstacles.
–Evening Thoughts

What a lesson Columbus gave to the world of perseverance in the face of tremendous difficulties!

Behind him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores,
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good Mate said: “Now we must pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?”
“Why, say, ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’”
“My men grow mutinous day by day;
My men grow ghastly wan and weak!”
The stout Mate thought of home; a spray
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
“What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
If we sight naught but seas at dawn?”
“Why, you shall say at break of day,
‘Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!’”
They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the Mate:
“This mad sea shows its teeth tonight.
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Admiral, say but one good word;
What shall we do when hope is gone?”
The words leapt like a leaping sword:
“Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!”
Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck
And peered through darkness. Ah! that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck–
A light! A light! A light! A light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world

Its grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”
–Joaquin Miller

Faith that goes forward triumphs.

 

February 11, 2014Crosswalk.com

Creative Reminders to Pray
Wendy Pope

“I will pray morning, noon, and night, pleading aloud with God; and he will hear and answer.” Psalm 55:17 (TLB)

Why is it so easy to remember every word to my favorite 80′s songs, but so hard to remember to pray for others?

There have been many times when I’ve told a friend, “Yes, I will pray for you.” Then time goes by and that promise slips my mind. Guilt fills my heart as days later I remember the forgotten prayerrequest.

My heart’s desire is to pray with purpose for each person and every need because I know God listens. The psalmist knew this too, and wrote these words in Psalm 55:17, “I will pray morning, noon, and night, pleading aloud with God; and he will hear and answer.”

That’s my intention too. Unfortunately, life’s busy schedule and my dwindling memory keep me from praying the way I want to.

So I asked the Lord to help me in this area. And He answered that prayer in an unusual way.

For some strange reason, I have the uncanny ability to remember the make and model of my friends’ cars. God used this ability to help me generate prayer prompters. Seeing the make and model of a friend’s car prompts me to pray for them.

But God didn’t stop there. He also showed me how to use other prayer prompters besides cars. Maybe my list will help you generate your own prayer prompts.

• A red Honda minivan: Renee Swope and family (She used to drive one)
• When my ears ring: Lysa TerKeurst (She had some damage to one ear)
• Leopard print: Lisa Allen (She loves leopard print)
• Purple, especially pens: Sharon Sloan (She loves purple)
• Fog or low lying clouds: Kristi Butler (We call low lying clouds the glory of the Lord)
• Wonderful, Merciful Savior: My former pastor (It is one of his favorite songs)

There are many ways we can remember to pray. Enter prayer requests as an appointment on your phone with an alarm to remind you. Write names and requests on a calendar to pray on specific days for specific people. Keep a notebook with you and record prayer requests.

Prayer prompts make it easier to pray morning, noon and night as the psalmist did. We can use red minivans or reminders on the calendar. Whenever the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray, God will hear and answer. Our prayers don’t have to be long, with big and lofty words. We just have to remember and pray with a sincere heart.

Dear Lord, I know that You hear and answer prayers morning, noon and night. Help me to be faithful to pray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Neighbor on the Fence

 

Hope you will have a beautiful Sunday morning. Thank you for all your encouraging comments. Please continue to work with us to inspire people around the world.

Sincerely,

Simposious

The following is from: Our Daily Bread

 

A Neighbor On The Fence

 — by Anne Cetas
All who believed were together. —Acts 2:44

The fence around the side yard of our home was showing some wear and tear, and my husband, Carl, and I decided we needed to take it down before it fell down. It was pretty easy to disassemble, so we removed it quickly one afternoon. A few weeks later when Carl was raking the yard, a woman who was walking her dog stopped to give her opinion: “Your yard looks so much better without the fence. Besides, I don’t believe in fences.” She explained that she liked “community” and no barriers between people.

While there are some good reasons to have physical fences, isolating us from our neighbors is not one of them. So I understood our neighbor’s desire for the feeling of community. The church I attend has community groups that meet once a week to build relationships and to encourage one another in our journey with God. The early church gathered together daily in the temple (Acts 2:44,46). They became one in purpose and heart as they fellowshiped and prayed. If they struggled, they would have companions to lift them up (see Eccl. 4:10).

Connection to a community of believers is vital in our Christian walk. One way that God chooses to show His love to us is through relationships.

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love!
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above. —Fawcett
We all need Christian fellowship to build us up and hold us up.

Helping Others and Joy

 

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The Cab Ride

by Kent Nerburn

“Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. It was a cowboy’s life, a life for someone who wanted no boss. What I didn’t realize was that it was also a ministry. Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a moving confessional. Passengers climbed in, sat behind me in total anonymity, and told me about their lives. I encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, made me laugh and weep.

But none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night.

I was responding to a call from a small brick fourplex in a quiet part of town. I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partiers,or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory for the industrial part of town.

When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. “It’s nothing”, I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated”. “Oh, you’re such a good boy”, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me and address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?” “It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly. “Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice”.

I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening. “I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. “How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.”Nothing,” I said. “You have to make a living,” she answered. “There are other passengers,” I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.” I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware–beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.”

Story by: Kent Nerburn

The Happiest Day Of My Life

 

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The Happiest Day of My Life
Sharing my laughter and my life
By Michael T. Smith

It started innocently.

Many years ago, I worked in an office with large windows that looked out over a busy overpass. I stood by one of those windows one day, when a woman in a passing car looked up and made eye contact with me—naturally, I waved.

A chuckle escaped my lips as she turned and tried to identify me. It was the beginning of a year of window antics. When things were slow, I stood in the window and waved at the passengers who looked up. Their strange looks made me laugh, and the stress of work was washed away.
My co-workers took an interest. They stood back out of view and watched the reactions I received with amusement.

Late afternoon was the best time. Rush-hour traffic filled the overpass with cars and transit buses, and provided a wealth of waving opportunities for my end-of-day routine. It didn’t take long to attract a following—a group of commuters who passed by the window every day and looked up at the strange waving man. There was a man with a construction truck who would turn on his flashing yellow lights and return my wave. There was the carpool crowd and the business lady with her children fresh from day care.
My favorite was the transit bus from the docks that passed my window at 4:40 PM. It carried the same group every day. They were my biggest fans.

Waving grew boring, so I devised ways to enhance my act. I made signs: “Hi!”,”Hello!”, “Be Happy!” I posted them in the window and waved. I stood on the window ledge in various poses; created hats from paper and file-folders, made faces, played peek-a-boo by bouncing up from below the window ledge, stuck out my tongue, tossed paper planes in the air, and once went into the walkway over the street and danced while co-workers pointed to let my fans know I was there.

Christmas approached, and job cuts were announced. Several co-workers would lose their jobs. Everyone was depressed. Stress reached a high point. We needed a miracle to break the tension.

While working a night shift, a red lab jacket attracted my attention. I picked it up and turned it in my hands. In a back corner, where packing material was kept, I used my imagination and cut thin, white sheets of cloth-like foam into strips and taped them around the cuffs and collar, down the front, and around the hem of the lab jacket. A box of foam packing and strips of tape became Santa’s beard. I folded a red file folder into a hat and taped the beard to it. The whole thing slipped over my head in one piece.

The next day I hid from my co-workers and slipped into the costume. I walked bravely to my desk, sat down, held my belly, and mocked Santa’s chuckle. They gathered around me and laughed for the first time in weeks.

A few minutes later, my supervisor walked through the door. He took three steps, and then looked up and saw me. Pausing, he shook his head, turned, and left.

I feared trouble. The phone on the desk rang. It was my boss, and he grumbled, “Mike, come to my office!” I shuffled down the hall. The foam beard swished across my chest with each step.

“Come in!” The muffled voice replied to my knock. I entered and sat down. The foam on my beard creaked. He looked away from me. A bead of sweat rolled down my forehead. The only sound in the room was the hammering of my heart. “Mike…” That was all he managed to say. He lost his composure, leaned back in his chair, and bellowed with laughter as he held his stomach. Tears formed in his eyes, while I sat silent and confused. When he regained control, he said, “Thanks, Mike! With the job cuts, it’s been hard to enjoy the Christmas season. Thanks for the laugh, I needed it.”

That evening, and every evening of that Christmas season, I stood proudly in the window and waved to my fans. The bus crowd waved wildly, and the little children smiled at the strange Santa. My heart filled with joy.

For a few minutes each day, we could forget the job losses.

I didn’t know it then, but a bond was forming between my fans and I. The next spring, I discovered just how close we had become.

My wife and I were expecting our first child. I wanted the world to know. Less than a month before the birth, I posted a sign in the window, “25 DAYS UNTIL ‘B’ DAY.” My fans passed and shrugged their shoulders. The next day the sign read, “24 DAYS UNTIL ‘B’ DAY.” Each day the number dropped, and the passing people grew more confused.

One day a sign appeared in the bus, “What is ‘B’ DAY?” I just waved and smiled.

Ten days before the expected date, the sign in the window read, “10 DAYS UNTIL BA– DAY.” Still the people wondered. The next day it read, “9 DAYS UNTIL BAB- DAY,” then “8 DAYS UNTIL BABY DAY.” My fans finally knew what was happening.

By then, my following had grown to include twenty or thirty different busses and cars. Every night, they watched to see if my wife had given birth. The number decreased and excitement grew. My fans were disappointed when the count reached “zero” without an announcement. The next day the sign read, “BABY DAY 1 DAY LATE”. I pretended to pull out my hair.

Each day the number changed and the interest from passing traffic grew. My wife was fourteen days overdue before she finally went into labor. Our daughter was born the next morning. I left the hospital at 5:30 AM, screamed my joy into the morning air, and drove home to sleep. I got up at noon, bought cigars, and appeared at my window in time for my fans. My co-workers were ready with a banner posted in the window:

“IT’S A GIRL!”

I didn’t stand alone that evening. My co-workers joined me in celebration. We stood and waved our cigars in the air, as every vehicle that passed acknowledged the birth of my daughter. Finally, the bus from the docks made its turn onto the overpass and began to climb the hill. When it drew close, I climbed onto the window ledge and clasped my hands over my head in a victory pose. The bus was directly in front of me when it stopped in heavy traffic, and every person on board stood with their hands in the air.

I was choked with emotion as I watched them celebrate my new daughter.

Then it happened—a sign popped up. It filled the windows and stretched half the length of the bus. “CONGRATULATIONS!” it read.

Tears formed in the corners of my eyes as the bus slowly resumed its journey. I stood in silence as it pulled away from view. More fans passed. They tooted their horns and flashed their lights to congratulate me. I hardly noticed them, as I pondered what had just happened.

My daughter had been born fourteen days late. Those people must have carried that sign for weeks. Each day they must have unrolled it and then rolled it back up. The thought of them going through so much just to celebrate my new baby made me cry.

I made a fool of myself in that window for eight months. I made those people smile after a long day at work. They must have enjoyed it, because on the happiest day of my life they showed their appreciation.

That day, more than twenty years ago, changed me. I just wanted to make my day better. I didn’t realize how it affected others.

Ever since then, I try to put a smile on someone’s face every day. I compliment strangers on their clothing. I start conversations in elevators. I even make jokes in crowded New York City subways. Some may think I am stupid, but I know there is a chance that I’m making someone’s day—someone who may one day hold up a sign that says “Congratulations!”. (The Happiest Day Of My Life, by: Michael T. Smith).

A Story of Appreciation

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A Story of Appreciation

 (Stories of Faith,Hope,Joy,Love, and Friendship, A Story of Appreciation.)
A young academically excellent person applied for a managerial position in a big company.

He passed the first interview, the director did the last interview, made the last decision.

The director discovered from the CV that the youth’s academic achievements were excellent all the way, from  secondary school until the postgraduate research,
never did he have a year when he did not score highest marks.

The director asked,
“Did you obtain any scholarships in school?”
The youth answered “none”.

The director asked,
” Was it your father who paid  your school fees?”
The youth answered,
“My father passed away when I was one year old, it was my mother who paid all my school fees.

The director asked,
” Where did your mother work?”
The youth answered,
“My mother works as a washer of clothes.
The director requested the youth to show his hands.
The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect.

The director asked,
” Have you ever helped your mother wash clothes?”
The youth answered,
“Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books.
Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me.”

The director said,
“I have a request. When you go back today, go and clean your mother’s hands, and then see me tomorrow morning.”

The youth felt that his chance of landing the job was high. When he went back, he happily requested his mother to let him clean her hands. His mother felt strange, happy but with mixed feelings, she showed her hands to her son.

The youth cleaned his mother’s hands slowly. His tears fell as he did that. It was the first time he noticed that his mother’s hands were so wrinkled, and there were so many cuts and bruises in her hands. Some bruises were so painful that his mother shivered when they were cleaned with water.

This was the first time the youth realized that it was this pair of hands that washed other people’s clothes everyday which had enabled him to pay his school fees. The bruises in his mother’s hands was the price that the mother was paying for his graduation, academic excellence and his future.

After cleaning his mother’s hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for his mother.

That night, mother and son talked for a very long time.

Next morning, the youth went to the director’s office.

The Director noticed the tears in the youth’s eyes, asked:
” Please tell me what you did and what you learned yesterday?”

The youth answered,
” I cleaned my mother’s hand, and also washed all the remaining clothes”

The Director asked,
” please tell me what you felt.”

The youth said,

Number 1,
I know now what is appreciation. Without my mother, there would not be the successful me today.

Number 2,
by working together and helping my mother, I now realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done.

Number 3,
I have come to appreciate the importance and value of family relationships.

The director said,
” This is what I am looking for to be my manager. I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life. You are hired.”

Later on, this young person worked very hard and received the respect of his subordinates. Every employee worked diligently and as a team. The company’s performance improved tremendously.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

A child, who has been protected and habitually given whatever he wants, will develop the “entitlement mentality” and would always put himself first. He would be ignorant of his parent’s efforts.

When he starts work, he would assume that every person must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he would never know the sufferings of his employees and would always blame others.

This kind of people, who may be good academically, may be successful for a while, but eventually would not find achievement.

He will grumble and be full of hatred and fight for more. If we are this kind of protective parents, are we really showing love or are we destroying our  kids instead?

You can let your kids live in a big house, give them a Driver & Car for going around, Eat  Good Meals, learn to play the Piano, Watch a Big Screen TV. But when you are Cutting Grass or cleaning the car or working, please let them experience it. After a Meal, let them Wash their Plates and Bowls together with their Brothers and Sisters. Tell them to Travel in Public Bus, It is not because you do not have Money for Car or to Hire a Maid, but it is because you want to LOVE them in the right way.

You want them to understand, no matter how rich their parents are, one day their hair too will Grow Grey, same as the Mother of that young person. The most important thing is that your kids learn how to appreciate the efforts of their parents and others and experience the difficulty that goes into giving them every luxury and learn the ability to work with others to get things done.

 (Stories of Faith,Hope,Joy,Love, and Friendship, A Story of Appreciation.)

Thanks For Your Time

 

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Thanks for Your Time 

Author Unknown  

(Inspiration Peak, Thanks for Your Time, Unknown Author.)

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!” Inspiration Peak, Thanks for Your Time, Unknown Author.