Spending Time, Wisely
July 30, 2013
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I took a study leave at a Benedictine monastery near Dubuque, Iowa. The monks followed the rules of the St. Benedictine order. Their time was highly regimented, with seven times of prayer in the chapel every twenty-four hours, including at 3:30 in the morning. I attended some of the chapel services; one day I tried to join them all seven times. I only made six of the times; you can guess which one I missed.
Spending those days in the monastery reminded me that our time should be spent in accord with the Lord’s will. I may not be called to spend my time seven times each day in formal prayer and study, but how am I called to spend my time?
I sometimes say or think, “I don’t have the time” when someone asks for my help or when I see someone in need of some help. Sometimes I don’t find the time to do what I am expected by others to do. And, believe it or not, even though I’m a pastor, I can shortchange my time reading the Bible or praying because I feel I don’t have the time.
The reality is that I do find time for what’s really important to me. How I spend my time — and I do spend it, never to get it back again — shows what’s important to me and what isn’t important to me.
I may complain that I have too little time, but how much time do I spend watching TV, being on the internet, playing at a hobby, or in some other non-essential activity?
Time is a precious commodity. Because I want to live my life serving God I should live with the awareness that my time is not my own, but His!
The psalmist declared, “My times are in your hands; . . .” (Psalm 31:15)