By DANNY MINTON
On December 26, 2010, I spent an hour with my mother. She didn’t know me, but my wife, Kathy, my dad and I were there. The last thing I did was kiss her on the forehead and say, “I love you, mom.” That would be my last hour with her.
On February 11, 2019, I spent an hour with my dad as he lay in bed at a care center. I don’t know if he knew I was there or not. He was seeing things and people that were no longer with us. I kissed his forehead, told him that I loved him, and left Plano for Abilene. That would be my last hour with my dad.
On February 6, 2014, my wife and I followed an ambulance as it took our son, Scottie, to the hospital. It didn’t seem serious at the time, so we kissed him and went to the waiting room. That would be the last time we would see our son alive.
On a Monday in 2011, a child was born, a fragile baby who would only live for an hour. During that hour, he knew what it was to be loved. He spent his only hour on this planet feeling the love of his family. His family, on the other hand, was able to spend one hour loving him in return.
One hour seems short, but to some, it’s a lifetime. So how do we spend our hour?
Will we take that hour to make amends with those with whom we’ve been at odds?
Do we spend time sitting down and sharing our feelings with our family?
Do we tell people we love them? Do we tell them how much they mean to us?
In our hour of worship, are we spending time in worship with God and each other, or are we finding fault with little things that don’t matter?
Do we take an hour a day to pray and study God’s word?
Do we take an hour a day to spend time with our spouse or children and tell them how important they are to us?
Are we willing to give an hour to those who are grieving or in need?
Will we give an hour to go to the funeral of a hurting family?
Will we give an hour to visit the sick in the hospital?
Will I share an hour with someone who has no or few friends?
The hour we give may be the last hour we have. It may be the last hour the person we are with may have. How will we use that hour? Will we use it to love others and family?
This week of Thanksgiving, as we give thanks to God, take time to give thanks for those who hold a special place in your life.
Thank God for those you have around you! Thank God for what you have instead of being pessimistic about what you don’t have.
This may be your last hour with them.
What if this hour is your last? What will you do? Who will you call?
If we live to be 78.7 years old (average lifespan), it gives us a total of 689,412 hours. That seems like a lot, but I turn 73 this week. If my math is correct, it means I’ve already used up 639,480 of those hours. Of those left, I’ll spend approximately another 16,500 hours sleeping and getting ready to go to bed or get up. That leaves me with 33,432 waking hours left out of 49,932. Of course it could be more or less, depending on what God has in store for me.
We should treat each hour as the last hour. It could be our last hour, or it could be the last one we spend with someone. It could be the last hour before our Savior returns.
Hours are precious; it’s up to us how we use them.
Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ