Sunday, January 18, 2009

Time

This quote, from C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity, has been one of my favorites for a long time:
I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.... If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charities expenditure excludes them.
I love the idea that we should sacrifice our means to help others, but I sometimes struggle to know how to apply it. I have a lot more money than I need, and it seems imprudent to give away so much money that it impinges on what I can do, since that would preclude saving. Where's the happy medium?

Today in church a guy named Dave shared a thought that made me think about this idea in a new light. He mentioned the story of the widow's mite, recorded in Mark 12:41-44:
41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
Dave then made the point that most of us don't want for money, but we do want for time. Our poverty isn't financial, but temporal. The obvious parallel is that sacrificing our time to serve God and others, especially when we're short on it, is of great value.

Maybe this is the modern version of C.S. Lewis's sentiment:
I am afraid the only safe rule is to spend more time serving than we can spare.... If our service does not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say it is too little. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our service to others excludes them.
Food for thought.

3 comments:

Tyler said...

I really like this thought...

jacob said...

Perhaps saving your money ambitiously is like a service... for your future family. Is there a greater service than to raise a righteous family. Since money is somewhat related to time, saving money now can buy you time later--time that later you can use with your family.

Jonathan said...

I think your right Bruce. For most of us, time is the most scarce resource. It is something we could never make more of no matter how hard we try. Giving someone your time beats giving them money.