Saturday, June 6, 2015

Gift of Time: A Day Doesn't Need To Have Only 24 Hours

Time is Precious
Two horses have more horsepower than the sum of both their individual powers put together. This is called the principle of synergy. Similarly, when two people work together on a job, their individual times add up to a greater whole than both of theirs individually. Thus, in a team work, one ends up getting more than 24 hours in his quota. Consequentially, a person in social engagement has more time than those who wish to work in solitude only. Of course, solitude has a place, especially when social engagement can mean destruction of synergy (like in two horses pulling a cart in opposite directions, in which case the single horse would do better than two opposite horses). Proverbs 21:9 says that "It's better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home" (NLT). When a husband and his wife have opposite perspectives and opposite directions, they end up destroying the energy of each other. But, where there is harmony, the overall results are magnificent. Therefore, a couple must work towards each other and for each other as one soul in two bodies, rather than become egotistical and get the ship to nowhere. Harmony is no difficult when both the instruments tune with the Master; and, conforming to Him, they are attuned to each other.

Now, there are also things (or people) that rob and steal time, so that at the end of the day one has had less than 24 hours. We are talking here about "personal time". For instance, when you allow yourself to be part of a futile chatter or a self-pity moaning, you allow yourself being robbed of precious time. Similarly, when someone violently demands your time and takes it, he gets the advantage of it at your loss. In general, one must be careful to assert ownership over one's time, without being selfish about the same. However, there are cases in which bad job-systems rob their workers of their daily quota of time. In other cases, workers are unjust towards their employers by not being faithful in the management of time (a sorry state of some government offices in India). When we make people wait or take more time than we promised we would take, we rob their time.

There are also cases of time wastage, when the daily quota is destroyed by either idling away time or by spending it with wasters. Proverbs 29:3 talks about the person who wastes wealth by hanging around with prostitutes. Wealth wasted is time wasted because it requires time to accumulate wealth.

While idle chatter is a great thief or waster of time, edifying conversations and fellowship help to synergize time, especially when there is mutual sharing so that what each has learnt over time is shared mutually for the benefit of both.

But, there is nothing better than gifting time to others, without expecting anything in return. When we give our time to someone, we lose it for a while, but we gain it in the form of the joy of selfless goodness, and selfless goodness has an infinite value because of God who is the ground and source of it. Therefore, those who do good are given eternal life (Rom.2:7). We are not talking about salvation by works here (the very idea of merit is contrary to faith and love); for, the quality of eternal life of God is sacrificial. God in the eternal Triune Community is self-giving Love. When we give our time to someone who cannot give it back to us in the form of either money or any worldly thing, that is called the sacrifice of time. It may be us serving them in time of their sickness or their weakness or their inability. But, it can also be us serving others in our daily allotment of day, by going the extra mile. There is no limit to the goodness of service when it is done out of love for Jesus. Therefore, the Bible exhorts workers to serve their masters as serving Christ, not with eye service as men-pleasers but as serving Christ (Eph.6:5,6).

I think it was Derek Prince who said that when we give of our wealth to the Lord, we actually give also our time along with the wealth because it equals to that amount of time that needs to be spent (or spent) in order to earn the money. When one gives to a poor person money or help in the form of service, the Bible says, he lends to the Lord (Prov.19:17) because it is God who has created both the rich and the poor, and one shows oneness with God by participating in His works of generosity.

We have a slice of time allotted to us in this journey of life. Let us sow this time into eternity to reap fruits eternal!

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