There are a few resources we have in this life that are incredibly scarce. Money is one, and time is another. Money comes and goes, but time always goes and always seems to be in slim supply. Yet time and again, you gave me time. You sat down with me and discussed creation over lunch. You even took me with your family to the lake on Memorial Day. You invited me to your home after church on countless Sundays. When I didn’t have a family, you opened your home and invited me over for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for your encouragement in my last letter. I pray it was an encouragement to you. I make mention of you often in my prayers. I am indebted to you in so many ways.
I’ve learned something since becoming a shepherd. I’ve learned how selfless you were. You gave me one of your most valuable resources: time.
Do you remember spending time with me while on the ship? Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night you had a Bible study for us. You didn’t have to do that. You gave up your evenings to teach and shepherd me. You took me through the Scriptures. This was time you spent with me that was above and beyond what anyone expected of you. To be honest, I took it for granted. I did not realize how many hours you gave up to disciplining young Christians.
You showed your love for this young sheep by spending time onshore as well. On the ship, “downtime” can be justified at night. But on shore, when you were back with your family, you still gave me your time. Thank you for letting me stop by your office and talk with you after work. You were so patient with me. I remember when talking with you two or three times a week.