The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

January 29, 2014

The Gift of Time

By Doug Creamer

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 —             Last week I got a phone call from my sister. The basic message was that my mother was in the hospital, but not to worry. They were going to give her a pacemaker. I know a number of people who have pacemakers and they have all had excellent results. Their procedures went smoothly and most were home the same day or possibly the next. My mother’s procedure was predicted to be similar with the overnight stay.

            I decided to go to work and then check on my mother about lunchtime. There was a slight glitch but all was still expected to go well. My original plan was to go see my mother over the weekend, but I decided I better go check on her the day of the procedure. The simple implanting of her pacemaker turned complicated and landed her in the cardiac intensive care unit of the hospital. Our families’ busy lives screeched to a halt as we all wanted to be there to check on our mother.

            So far we have been blessed. My mother has fought valiantly to overcome her complications. There has been much prayer sent to heaven for her in the last week which she and the family deeply appreciate. We know that the Lord’s hand has been with us even though we have had to walk through such a trying time. Naturally, we have been concerned but we have held onto hope.

            I have become keenly aware of time. It feels like time creeps along when you are anxiously waiting for news. What seems important sure changes when you are sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. We have been fortunate because my mother has shown signs of improvement.          

My family was sitting together waiting for news the other day and we were telling funny stories from our childhood or about the grandkids. At times we would erupt with laughter. When my family laughs everyone can hear us. The laughter we shared helped to sooth our nerves. It also made the time we spent together more joyful.  

            I have noticed many other families suffering and grieving at the hospital. My heart goes out to them. There is an incredible need for prayer for people with loved ones in the hospital. When you spend time at a hospital you become keenly aware that we all given a limited amount of time to enjoy. Every day when we get up we have the opportunity to choose how we will live our lives. We can choose to waste our precious time on all the wrong things or we can invest our time in the things and people who really matter.

            On Sunday, I chose to go to God’s house where I could find the peace and joy in my heart to go and share with my mother. This week I have chosen to leave work early to spend time with my mother and my family. I can see how precious time is and I want to spend each moment wisely. I choose daily to spend time with God because I know that at the end of this life I will be spending eternity with Him. I want to know Him and be known by Him.

            As I look in the mirror I can see that guy looking back at me who looks a little older than the one who was there ten years ago. Time takes its toll on each one of us. Time can be our friend when we learn to enjoy each moment and the people who share our lives. The important thing to remember is that we all have a limited amount of time and God has given us the responsibility to choose how we spend it. I want to choose to spend it with people who will build me up and not tear me down. I want to choose to spend it with my family and friends. I want to choose to spend time fulfilling God’s purpose. I want to be God’s friend.

            I want to encourage you to think about how you are spending your time. God wants us to enjoy our lives and to share and invest ourselves in others. We have a great opportunity to choose God’s best for our lives. I believe God wants us to laugh. I believe God wants us to love and be loved deeply, not only by Him but by our family and friends. I believe that God wants us to spend time telling others about His great love. Time is a wonderful gift given by God to each one of us. How will you use the awesome gift of your time?


Doug Creamer teaches Marketing at East Davidson High School. His website is located at Contact him at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or email