The Man Who Counted Time

Once, there was a guy who worked a lot. His kids never saw him, his dog didn’t come when he called, and his wife only caught him to kiss him him once a year! He worked hard so he could retire. He thought, when he retired, he would do all the things that he didn’t do now. He would just take it easy and do whatever he wanted. That was his dream.

So, on the day he was supposed to retire, he threw away his suitcase, got rid of all his suits, and settled in to do something he had never done: watched TV for 3 days in a row. His wife was glad he was home, but his kids were all grown up already. The dog was too old and barked at him because he didn’t recognize him. But he was happy. Now he could do whatever he wanted.

But that night, he had a dream. An angel came and told him that he was going to die at midnight.

The man was very upset. “I just got settled! I have everything I need now! You won’t let me enjoy it?!?!”

The angel said, “God gave you a lot of years! You used them.” He shrugged. He had a lot of dreams to deliver, and was getting slightly impatient.

“But I didn’t know!”

“You didn’t know you were going to die?” The angel asked, confused.

“No, I knew, but I thought I would live until I was really old!”

The angel rolled his eyes. “A lot of people don’t even make it to your age!” He crossed his arms and tapped his foot. “That’s why we tell people to use their time wisely. You never know how much you have. Some people change the world in 30 years, Jesus was an example of that. And some people do hardly anything with 130 years. They’re only known for being old.”

“But I didn’t know!”

“Do you know what ‘investing’ is?”

“Of course!” The man had invested a lot of money so he could retire.

“Well, the time God gives you is an investment. If you use your time for good things, it will make the world a better place. It can help other people help other people, and they will keep doing that even after you’re dead. But if you just use your time for yourself, everything you do will die with you.”

The man didn’t know what to say.

The angel decided to try to make his exit and went to the window.

“Wait!” The man called out in desperation, “Can I just have one more year?”

The angel sighed and paused. “I’ll see if I can get you one more month.” Then, he disappeared.

The man stood in the dark for a moment, then turned on all the lights. He kissed his wife, he wrestled with the dog, and he read his Bible for the first time since he was young. He called all of his kids (who were upset that he was calling in the middle of the night), and then he donated all his money to feeding hungry kids.

From that day, on, he really lived. He counted each minute like it was money, and tried to use it for good.

Based on Luke 12:13-21


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