Time is the heritage of every person. Whether a Queen or street sweeper, an astronomer or lorry driver, a business tycoon or a lollipop lady, each of us has the same number of hours in a day.
Many necessities and opportunities demand much of us. Our work takes up a large percentage of our life. Being a good husband or wife, father or mother, grandparent, friend, employer or employee requires time.
A survey conducted recently to find out how the average person spends their time revealed that the average British man spends the equivalent of 11 and a half years at work in a lifetime.
We spend 23,214hrs washing clothes – that’s three years!
In the average lifetime we use up 115 days laughing – that’s six minutes a day, but we’re more miserable than we used to be – in the1950s we spent three times as long having a chuckle, according to the poll.
We spend the equivalent of 13 weeks of our lives on a beach, trying to top up our tans, and hanging around on platforms waiting for your train, or queuing at bus stops, takes up 27 days – although it may often feel much longer than that.
And 11 years of our lives are used up in front of the TV, five months complaining and 26 years sleeping.
Unless you live in a different universe than I, each day still has 24 hours in which we eat, sleep, and do all the jobs we need to do, be with our families and friends, and work out how we should live our lives.
In Psalm 90, the psalmist prays that God would teach him, and others, to become good stewards with time.
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
The psalmist knew that life is relatively short against the span of God’s existence and eternity. In a sense he asks God for the grace to allow him to “number his days” so that he could find the value in each day. Each day he wanted to “gain a heart of wisdom,”
Not only did he want to value each day that he had, he also wanted God to give him the wisdom to see where God was in each day. He was asking for the ability to discern the things of God, and in learning his will and his ways, to apply them to make his life better.
How do we count the value of our time? What is it that makes of time precious?
When we give our time for the care of another, to encourage or comfort, to do something simple like baking a cake, listening to troubles, standing up for the vulnerable, praying for our troubled world or just noticing those around us – is that not time given which is precious?
Many people who are part of the church communities of this parish give their time to God in many ways. It might be cleaning, making refreshments, visiting the sick, printing the magazine, getting the church ready for worship, balancing the books, gardening or being a friend in need.
You are worth your weight in gold.
At primary school the time given over to the things the children really value is known as golden time. Your time given in service of others and so in service of God is golden time.
This month just take time to look at how you use your time. Are you giving time to God? Are you spending time with him in prayer and reflection? Do you use your time wisely?
YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL! There needs to come a time when you STOP.
Take a look at your life. Are you too busy? Are you denying God the best that you can be? Are you robbing family and friends of you? Take a careful look at your life. Look at areas where you feel the wheel is spinning out of control. Ask God to give you the grace to “redeem your time” wisely. Ask Him to help you to “number your days aright.”
We have all been given 24 hours a day in which we live. Let us declare before God and each other that we will seek to use our time wisely! Make it golden time for God.