Post 6 – Time
The areas of our stewardship in our lives that we have looked at so far are pretty straightforward. God deserves a return of thanksgiving from us for the blessings that He has provided us with. It is often good to look at our stewardship to see if our gifts back to God come from our surplus or our sustenance. It seems simple that our giving be connected to God in a way that what we give comes from our best to serve others in the best possible way. The scriptures are clear that God does not desire our left-over offerings. From Cain and Able in Genesis to the widows’ mite in the Gospels God recognizes gifts that are given from the best that we have. It is not a hard measure to determine our faithfulness and unlike a financial tithe it does not require a formula. We need to only think about how we go about our normal day. We are often so busy in surviving that we miss a lot of the opportunity for true stewardship. What it looks like is this; after we have had a busy day, or week and someone calls us with an opportunity to help in a fundraiser for our kids’ class or with a local civic group and our first response is that we are too busy. Later in the conversation we realize that we need to help so we offer to make a financial donation or perhaps we provide them some advice on the event. The challenge if we are not careful is that we feel like with our busy schedules this is a solid contribution. While sometimes this can honestly be the case, but if it becomes our regular response then it can communicate to others that we will give of our money and our opinion but just don’t ask me for my time. Time has become the most valuable commodity in our lives. With all the demands that are placed on us we learn to guard our time very closely and we very much risk being too selfish with this blessing. Let’s take a look at time, how we value it, and how we might better view stewardship of our time.
At one point or another in our busy lives we have all most likely said “I need to manage my time better”. In reality, it is not possible to manage something that is fixed and unchanging like time? It would be like trying to lasso the wind and tie it to a fence post.
We all tend to miss this at first because we are under the illusion that with better technology will come better time management – The advent of email, cell phones, Facebook and Twitter will give us more and more free time only for frustration to set in because we are busier than ever! We have allowed the technology to own us, and drive us into more and more activity with little or no more actually getting accomplished.
If time itself then cannot be managed, what then can we do? Only the activity that takes place in the time we have each day is manageable. Activity can easily be prioritized according to how we choose to live our lives. It has been said that life is 10% of what happens to us ( circumstances ) and 90% how we deal with it ( activity ). It is our activity after-all that others see and is therefore an area of continual stewardship for us. The stewardship in activity can be best seen in how we take ownership and responsibility for the circumstances in our lives. For example lets say you are having a bad day, ( good days can allow us to take some activities for granted ) the clock didn’t go off – power blinked and you just haven’t gotten around to putting in the batteries for back up – just too busy, you are having a bad hair day and to top it off you have a flat tire on the way to work or Church or the Dr’s Appt – How do you view that – darn clock, crazy hair, worn car tire …………………. Regardless of how many things affected your arrival there are only two things that matter now 1) Your late 2) no one cares about the rest – you are late. Dont lay out the reasons you are late, you are just late. DO NOT give away your power to control your activity to the clock, your hair, a tire ………………. Do we see ourselves as accountable to God for how we spend your activity? Do we own the activity that takes place in the time we have or do the activities own us?
One final thought on time. Our habits in our activities will be passed down to our children. Are you 10 minutes late everywhere you go. If you are continually 10 minutes late for work, you know you may not have a job for long. You recognize that you are accountable to your employer and you respect them enough to be mindful of this time and activity. We only have today and no guarantee of tomorrow so may we see God as the owner of all of our time and may the activity that we participate in be a good use of the blessings he has provided us.
13Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”