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Time: our most precious commodity

By Debbie Wright | 16 October 2017 | Comments (2)

After about an hour I was ready to wind up the conversation and our time together and made a slight move to go – when I realized that my friend, who is going through a very bad patch, was in no way finished.  Two and half-hours later we eventually said our goodbyes.  When our first hour had passed I had an epiphany.  Up to that point I thought I was being generous – I had allotted some of my precious day off, I had given up other things to be there and when I thought I had given enough I wanted to move on.  How wrong could I have been?


My most precious commodity and something in very short supply is time.  It may be my stage of life – teenage children, elderly parents, husband, job, church, house to run, to do lists to tick off. But probably for most of us time is scarce; it runs away, it flies by.  Therefore I steward my time carefully, planning my work agendas and my days off with sometimes military precision. 8am gym, 9.30 email catch up - you get the picture. 


And the self-help models reinforce our careful stewarding of our time – me time, quality time, spare time, allotted time, downtime, and of course the Christian quiet time.


My friend’s need didn’t fit into my allotted space for it, and in my dilemma, with a clock ticking, I realised I needed to change my perspective. Paul urges the Philippians to not set their minds on earthly things but on our citizenship in heaven. (Philippians 3:19-20)


Jesus must have been incredibly time poor – his ministry only lasted 3 years and boy did he have a lot to pack in. The picture Mark’s gospel paints is of him and his disciples forever moving from town to town. Jesus had an urgency to teach, to heal, to forgive and to train his disciples and followers. But Jesus always not only had time to pray to his Father, but he also dedicated time for conversation both with individuals like the women at the well and with groups.  He was patient when he was interrupted; he wasn’t rushed and gave his full attention to the person in need in front of him.


Jesus’s generosity and love for others overflowed from the Father and was replenished and sustained by the time he spent with his Father away from others. Our ‘quiet times’ with God can often feel like another chore – another to-do on our lists.  When in fact our time spent with God should be the opposite.  Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8). He says ‘Come to me and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28).  Spending time with God shouldn’t ever be a chore, but a time of joy, a time of reflection, being filled and rested and replenished.


We can only give generously and whole-heartedly when we have received and have been filled to overflowing.  More time resting in God’s presence enables and empowers us to give more time to others.


After my epiphany, I still plan my days – but they are more fluid and flexible, my times with God are more about resting than action, and my times with my friends are open ended with no finish time.



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Posted by Debbie Wright

Debbie Wright is Stewardship’s Head of Content and is passionate about generosity in all its guises. Besides occasional blogging and tweeting she creates resources and campaigns such as 40acts and Advent Wonder to inspire, engage and motivate the wider Christian community. Prior to joining, Debbie worked for A Rocha UK as editor of their national magazine and in a previous life worked as a TV producer/director for the BBC for 17 years.  Debbie is married to Graham; they have 4 daughters and a springer spaniel.  When not acting as taxi driver, she can be found on a salsa dance floor. Follow Debbie on Twitter @debwright99



October 18, 2017 3:25 PM
That's a good message for all of us to heed, Debbie. Thanks.

Charles Stammers

October 19, 2017 10:40 AM
Thank you Debbie.
The Lord created time. It's His agenda. . Memo to self!


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