I had not intended to write today but two seemingly unrelated events that occurred yesterday caused me to stop and ponder what I believe could be the greatest gift given to us through this pandemic, the gift of time. The first event was a friend who called to ask for prayer for the families who had just lost loved ones in a terrible vehicle collision. I was reminded that this pandemic while serious is probably not what is going to kill many of us, but we are all going to die and our time here on this earth is short. The second event happened at the grocery store where many people are still panic buying, their carts overflowing with things they probably wouldn’t normally buy and complaining because someone else got the last roll of toilet paper! I only had a few items and the guy ahead of me only had one but the lady in front of both of us had a cart overflowing with stuff. It looked like we were going to be there waiting in line a while. But then a strange thing happened she let the man behind her go ahead of her as he only had one item. When he got done, she turned to me and said, “you can go ahead of me also, you see I’m not in a hurry.” The truth is neither was I, I mean right now very few of us are in a hurry. But here is the strange part, even though I had no place I needed to be the thought of having to stand in line and wait while the cashier rang up her cart full of stuff frustrated me. But why did this secretly bother me when I had no place to be? Why did it feel like I had been released from prison when she so graciously let me go ahead of her? Because even though my life is no longer hurried my heart still is. While my life has been forced to slowed down because of this pandemic my heart hasn’t. You see just a few days ago we were all busy, rushing around living these hurried lives. In fact, busy is how many of us define ourselves. When people say how are you doing, we usually respond I’m so busy. Being busy in our culture is like a badge of honor. But what were we so busy doing? Well life of cause, I had meetings and deadlines. But this pandemic has changed that for most of us and the truth is we don’t know what to do with all this extra time on our hands. It’s not like we don’t still have work but it’s different working from home. That woman’s kind gesture revealed something in my life I needed to take a look at, something below the surface that many of us never slow down long enough to look at and listen to, our hearts. I have a hurried heart, a heart that I have allowed the world to speed up and rush along at a frantic pace. Jesus was busy but he was never hurried so why am I? I have allowed my heart to beat to the pace of this world instead of Him. Dallas Willard once called hurry the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. And said, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from you life.” What am I missing because my heart is not willing to wait? The second thing this kind woman’s actions forced me to face is time. We all have a limited amount of time and her gift of letting me go ahead of her didn’t actually buy me more time it just allowed me to spend the time on something other than waiting in line. But what was I going to do with this gift of time? Like the woman in the grocery store this pandemic has gifted us a different perspective on life. What are you going to do with the time you now have on your hands? When you look back 30 or 60 days from now what will you have done with your time? Most of us don’t really know what to do with it so we scroll through social media looking to see what everyone else is doing with it. The Bible tells us In Ephesians 5:15-16 to be careful how we live so that we redeem the time because the days are evil. Am I making the best use of my time? What about those 15 minuets I was gifted in the grocery story what would I do with those? As we face these uncertain days, we have a choice in how we are going to live. We can live like prisoners just doing time or we can redeem the time. But before I can redeem the time, I have to restore the heart. You see a hurried heart is not a healthy heart therefore it is not a happy heart. I would encourage you to get out a piece of paper and at the top write the word TIME. Then under it write out what you are going to do with this gift called time, not next week but today. I believe when we are asked what is the most important thing in our life, many of us would say our family and friends, relationships not riches. But is that where we invest our time? What if we used this pandemic as a paradigm shift to get us back to the true values of our heart, loving people. Right now, you have been gifted time with loved ones in a unique way, use it don’t lose it. Enjoy your kids being home have fun together. Go for that walk with your spouse even if it’s around the house, hold their hand more and your phone less. Write a letter to a love one, not an email an actual letter. I don’t know about you, but I needed this perspective shift. The truth is I don’t have any more time now than I did a week ago, I just have a different perspective on life and the chance for different priorities. It’s not that I don’t have things to do I just have a different heart with which to do them. So, thank you to the lady at the grocery store for more than just a get out of line free card but a life changing one.