The Gift of Time
Today I shared an idea with my brothers for Mom for Mother's day and Christmas. It is easier for me to think of things for Mom - they are better at man gifts. Years ago we decided to go in for her birthday and give mom house cleaning for the year. She has loved that gift and it is helpful and useful! Mom always tells me, "Jill, I do not need anything else. My closets are full. I have too many shoes." And I know that but I love to find things perfect for her. She is in the business of cleaning out. Because "Granny never got rid of anything and "left it all for us", Mom reminds me frequently mat after she is gone it will take us 30 minutes to clean out her house! I understand her feelings but I also think that comes with wisdom. Mom knows what is important and it is not material things. (But shoes sure are fun!)
1 Timothy 6: 18-19, "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." I believe our most valuable possession is our time. Time is precious and yet we squander it the most easily. We waste time that we are never going to get back. Time is precious and that is why it is a powerful tool in growing our relationships. Proverbs 11: 25, "A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." We will be refreshed when we give the gift of time to others. Mom and I always say the same thing after we do something we really did not want to do. "I sure am glad I made myself do that. I wouldn't take that back for anything!"
God made us to make time for others. Philippians 2: 4, "...not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."
Most importantly we are to spend time with God. After all if He is our focus then everything else falls into place. Colossians 3: 1, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." Before it hits your lips, I know! You are busy! I am busy! We are all busy! As Mother Theresa said we all have the same 24 hours in a day. If I want to be real honest I am busy being busy. If you prioritize your busyness I know there is some extra time for God. Deuteronomy 18: 4, "You are to give them the first fruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep," You have to make this a non-negotiable part of your daily routine.
Exodus 23: 19, "Bring the best of the first fruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God."
So if we are to make time for God our first priority how do we do that? List out your priorities. Schedule your first two priorities. Scheduling time for God takes time and effort. Remember we do this for any other relationship that matters (spouse, children, grandchildren, friends, etc) We have to be intentional in finding time to be alone with God. We must be quiet. We must strive to be consistent.
This was huge for me. I used to try to read a chapter at a time and when I was finished I had no idea what I had read. I was so envious of people who could give a whole talk on one little verse. The problem was, for me, I was reading too much. I needed to read less - maybe three to five verses. Then I needed to reflect on that verse for a while. I stayed quiet and asked God to give me insight. Psalm 119:47-48, "...for I delight in your commands because I love them. I reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees."
You must get honest with God. You may as well because He knows your thoughts anyway. You cannot play games with Him! Psalm 62:8, "Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." Trust Him because He wants what is best for you and He knows the future. Let the stress go by letting God guide you!
When we give God our time we are actually gaining strength, faith, and joy. We will see our lives changed in ways we can not imagine! Let Him showoff in your life!