Sunday 22nd March – Click HERE to view message!
Are we going to take time seriously?
Watch Matt’s video and then come back here to check out the rest of his message. His video goes for less than 2 minutes.
Are we going to take time seriously?
(a message with more questions than answers …)
Are you going to take time seriously?
(video clip used with permission of Josh Lamont)
Time is of the essence
I had a great time
Time to go
Sign of the times
We had the time of our lives
Take the time
There is no time like the present
Time is on our side
Time will tell
Time is a great healer
Times they are a-changing
I need more time
Times up …
We talk about time all the time … it is important to us!
But … are we going to take time seriously? That is the big question.
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
How do we Aussies use our time?
In Australia, if you are a woman on average you will have
84.9 years on this planet
that is 30,988 days or 743,724 hours
If you are a man on average you’ll have
which is 29,455 days or 706,932 hours
And what do we do with our time in Australia?
In 2018, a number of reports were looked at and discovered Australians spent:
29 minutes a day commuting one way
(maybe not so much here in Tassie … unless you need to cross the Tasman Bridge between 8am and 9am on a weekday)
38 to 42 hours a week at work
18 hours a week watching TV
51 to 109 minutes a day on social media (depending on the research looked at)
Just over 4 hours on committed activities including childcare, household chores and errands like grocery shopping and cooking.
(when it comes to household chores, studies found women spend more time each day doing housework and other domestic activities, while men spend more time on recreation and leisure (a need to step it up fellas?)).
Just under 5 hours on socialising, recreation and leisure
An average of 7 hours a day sleeping
(not so fun fact: a quarter of all adults use the internet most nights of the week just before bed and experience difficulty sleeping or daytime impairments as a result)
(from ‘8 surprising facts about how we spend our time’, Kellie Scott, ABC Life)
Interestingly, there was no mention of Christian life and community here … in fact in 2016 only 16% of Australian attended church on average once a month or more.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
How should we be using our time (a Christian view)?
The Bible and Jesus himself talk a great deal about how we should be using our time. Christians are very familiar with the concept of God’s law that essentially provides God’s expectations for how we live our lives.
Jesus summarised God’s law like this (please forgive me for paraphrasing) … in Matthew 22:36 a lawyer asked: ‘Jesus, how should I be using my time?’ and Jesus replied: ‘Love God with all of your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbour as yourself’.
As Pastor Lisa Singh was preparing a sermon on time in 2015, she came across a headline in The Huffington Post, ‘You Can Determine What You Value by Where You Spend Your Time’. The statement caught her attention and she realised that time is a currency we invest and whatever we invest our time in will also bring a return, be it good or bad rewards.
If we invest our time into loving God and loving others the return on investment will bring life and light to those around us.
Will you invest the time you have wisely? Are we going to take time seriously …?
“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to’.”
A Time Budget
So how do you spend your time? If time is a currency have you ever sat down and created a budget for your time like you might make one for your finances?
If you have ever read anything about how to improve your financial situation I guarantee it included strong advice about running your finances to a budget.
Not all of us have the same access to money but we do however all have access to the same hours in the day. In fact, in many ways, time is the great equalizer – something we all have to give.
Why don’t you take time in the weeks to come to map out your time expenditure? Does it look like you want it to? What would you prefer it to look like? On what should you be spending more time? On what should you be spending less?
Consider: are you meeting your goals spending time with God? Time to speak with God and share your heart, time for understanding God’s plan for how we live our lives (eg. through time spent digging into the Bible), time to be thankful, unstructured time to just hang out with God – remembering who God is to this world and to you …
Consider: are you being the ‘neighbour’ you want to be? Are you setting aside time each week to care for the people God has brought into your life? Time to make that call, have that coffee, meet a practical need, pray for that situation, stand up for a vulnerable community, restore that relationship …
Consider this crazy idea: Maybe as a discipline you could consider ‘tithing’ your time – for example, could you set aside 10% of your week to spend time with God and give time to those around you? That’s about 11 hours a week if you just focus on waking hours …
“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world.
God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!
Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”
“For the present is the point at which time touches eternity.”
‘It’s Not What You Do, But How You Do It?’
Ok so you’re busy … you may be thinking right now ‘nice idea about tithing time but where would I find another 11 hours in my week? Where would I even find one extra hour?’
I get it – I ask myself the same questions … and two thoughts come to mind.
First, maybe my priorities are out of wack with what they should be? If you feel God is saying they are, you likely have some decisions to make about how you are spending your time …
Second, I – we – need to remember that it is not always what you do, but how you do it. Maybe you don’t need to cram even more into your busy life. Maybe you need to think about how you’re doing your day to day life … does everything you do each day bleed with the colours and flavours of the kingdom of God?
For example, Philippians 2:3-4 says: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”
Colossians 3:12 says: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Are our day to day behaviours flavoured with humility and self-sacrifice?
Are our every day actions coloured by compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience?
And when it comes to spending time with God, are we developing the art of journeying with God 24/7? In addition to setting aside specific time to be with God, do we need to be much better at inviting God to participate in our time and space, at all times throughout the day, whatever task we may be engaged in?
Practising the presence of God, if you like, in the spirit of the 17th century monk Brother Lawrence …
“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”
“But Right Now We are in the Midst of the ‘Chrono-Virus’ …!”
Yep right now we are in the ‘time of the virus’ (see what I did there?).
You may be thinking ‘well all the above is all well and good when times are normal but not at the moment …!!!’.
It is an unprecedented time for our generation, no doubt about that, perhaps a time unlike anytime since World War II … but all of us, all of us, still have time … and the ability to choose how we use it!
In a time of self-isolation and physical distancing, opportunities still abound if we journey through this time with our eyes open.
Can we deliver a care package to the door of that person in self-isolation?
Can we finally find time to pray for the needs of our friends and family?
Can we make those phone calls we have been ‘too busy’ to make?
Can we financially assist someone who has lost his or her income?
Can we ease someone’s anxieties about the future?
The opportunities are endless if your eyes remain open and your heart remains responsive …
As Jesus said: ‘As long as it is day I must do the works of him who sent me’.
Let’s keep working so that the end of these times may be left awash in the flavours and colours of the kingdom of God … let’s spend our days loving God and loving our neighbours … let’s take the time we have seriously!!!
Send Matt some feedback . . .
Past messages from Grace
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