“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Luke 12:34 NIV
There are only so many hours in a day,
There are only so many days in a year,
And we only have so many years to live…
The kicker of course being that our number of years, or days, is unknown.
Does that not make them a finite resource? Does that not make your days a precious commodity, like diamonds, or silver, or gold?
How are you spending those hours? Who do you spend them with? What do you spend them doing? And more importantly, who or what are you honoring with your time?
As a first responder wife, I’ve often found myself complaining about the lack of time I get to spend with my husband, either as a couple or as a family. It’s challenging to find time when we are all awake at the same time and able to spend time together, and while I understand this is a part of the first responder family life, I was really struggling to find our balance. One of the things I found myself saying was “I just didn’t have time to do that today”; while it was a fair statement, it also wasn’t entirely true. As I began to read my bible a little more, I came across Luke 12:34. This scripture is typically used in sermons where the primary topic is tithing.
Jesus may have been referencing the allure of the physical things here that we so desperately desire, but as I’ve read this scripture time and time again, it gave me a very concerning look at my heart: I’ve got no problem allocating my financial tithe every payday, but I won’t allocate a set amount of “my” time to God.
I’ve had to reconcile with the realization I spend far too much time watching television shows that are neither God-honoring or encouraging my relationships. I spend far too much time making excuses for not having the time to “be still” with God, when if I were really honest with myself, I’d acknowledge I’m not being a good steward of the time God has given me here. That goes far beyond my relationship with God: that includes the time I should be spending with my husband, my son, and the community of people I’ve been surrounded by. The excuse of “I just didn’t have the time to do that today” began to fall flat when I saw it wasn’t an issue of the amount of time I had, but the way I was prioritizing it: when it came down to the hours I have in my day, I honored the earthly desires of this world above the one who who created them.
If you woke up this morning, you were given the same 24 hours as anyone else who also woke up. Some days and some things require your hours: sleep, a job to provide for your family, school so you can either get the job you need to provide for your family or so you can improve the career you already have, home maintenance such as grocery shopping and cleaning… by the end of it all, we only have a handful of hours left to spend. Interestingly enough, the world today is consumed with the idea of saving time: we pay a little extra at the grocery store so all we need to do is pull into the parking lot and pick up our groceries without even getting out of the car, and the internet is chock full of time-saving tips on everything from cooking to cleaning to getting ready for the day.
We don’t actually “save” time by doing these things, implying we will have a bank of time to pull from when the day seems just a little too short; we merely re-allocate it to other tasks and chores and drudgery until we get to the end of the day with a few tasks left on the list and no time left to complete them. All the time I “saved” in my day wasn’t getting spent thanking God for the blessings I have, or spent on the community and relationships I need; I spent it complaining I didn’t have enough or re-allocated it to useless things.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
As I read this, I realized I had a choice to make: I could continue to invest my treasure into the earthly desires of this world, or I could invest it in my relationship with God, my family, and with others who needed it. I can tell you it wasn’t easy, and I’m not perfect. I still have days where I look back and realize my time, my treasure, could have been better spent. I needed to take a long hard look in the mirror and reevaluate my choices, which meant letting go of a few things, like my desire to have the house completely cleaned before I’d consider spending some of my son’s nap time on my bible study. It meant setting an alarm to get up a little earlier so I could spend the first few moments of the day in thankfulness and stillness with God before I let my list of needs take over. It meant replacing some of my nightly binge-watching with praying for others before praying for myself. I have reaped what I’ve sowed: as I’ve invested my time with God, I’m seeing more of Him in the details of my everyday, and I’ve found myself trusting Him more.
It’s still hard to send my husband off to work at night, but instead of worry and fear, I reflect on the treasure I was given: I had more time with him. I can honestly say when I look back on the precious hours I’ve had today, I was honoring the right people and the right things, and there’s a peace that comes from knowing my time was well spent.
Written by Amanda F.
Amanda is a coffee-loving first responder spouse who committed to serving the Lord in 2018. When she isn’t spending time with her family or her three dogs, she can be found running outdoors, knitting in her favorite chair, or cooking in the kitchen.