We have been talking, recently, about the kind of tools we need in order to be successful in the business of being a Christian family.
One of the most useful and indeed powerful things that we have at our disposal is time. Like anything powerful, though, we have to be careful how we use it, because it is quite easy to let something like time have the upper hand, to be in charge of us, when it really should be the other way around!
For me, it has been helpful to look at time as a resource, something that has real value and that can be accounted for in the same way as money. However, it is important to keep in mind that time – unlike money – cannot be replaced when it has been frittered away. It may well be that time is money, but it is not equally true that money is time. Only time is time; there is simply no substitute; and no making it up once it is gone.
If time, then, is so precious, and if – as we say – our families are the most precious thing in our lives, then it certainly makes sense to put the two together and invest a huge amount of time in our families. Yet, when decisions are being made, it is too easy to bring home only leftovers for our families while devoting huge chunks of prime-time to business and recreational pursuits.
A careful reading of the New Testament will reveal that Jesus was never in a hurry. He was in demand (we use that excuse) yet he took time away from the crowds; he had a product that was available nowhere else (they need me at the office!), but still scheduled quiet times of meditation and prayer; Christ always had somewhere he needed to go (look how important we are…), only he didn’t always choose to go…. Christ never allowed the limitations of time to rule his life or ministry.
When we examine our schedule, and then chose to allocate time where it really amounts to a worthwhile investment, then I believe that we will find ourselves with our spouse and our children more. Time is too powerful and important a tool to waste, especially at the expense of our family.