Sherry Antonetti is a freelance writer, blogger and published author of The Book of Helen. She lives just outside of Washington, DC with her husband and their ten children.
In graduate school, over and over again, my professor emphasized the concept that policy priorities are always revealed by funding. Money indicates importance. Finances reveal values.
I understand the point the teacher sought to underscore when discussing school finances. In life however, the real commodity signifying importance is time, and where we surrender time, our hearts can be found.
Recently, the priest called out our parish, asking how many make appointments for hair, for a workout, for a date, for a meeting. Most adults raised their hands. He asked the kids if they have to be at games or concerts or movies or special events, or classes on time. They also raised their hands. He asked, “Do you not know that you have an appointment with God every week?” and asked us to try to be punctual.
Convicted on the point, people talked about the issue in the parish hall afterward, over coffee and doughnuts. Time spilled out leisurely and one had to recognize that we made time for leisure after Mass. Slowing down for God seemed like an equally good thing. Going to Mass shouldn’t be a check off box on the to-do list. Spending time in the community, and in the presence of heaven and earth, should be a daily aspiration, rather than a weekly chop of time from the weekend.
I thought about how battered the parish feels from this past summer, how unrested, how weary. We need to come to Jesus, all of us who are burdened, all of us who are weary, and spend time with Jesus. We need more than a mere hour of spiritual triage to weather the news and the daily trials of life. We need to choose the better portion and spend our time at the foot of Jesus, not anxious about many things.
Jesus asks those who love him, “Could you not spend an hour?” and we have to answer whether we will or not. Jesus invites us to sit at His table and listen. Do we value our time over time spent with God? Do we value our schedule over God’s plans? Do our lives reveal to the world what we hold most dear?
If the answer is not God, figure out what percent of the day you give to God. Whatever that number is, make it more. We need to choose the better portion and spend our time at the foot of Jesus, not anxious about many things.
We have many things we could choose to be anxious about, and many of them need addressing. We should bring them to the one who will not act out of malice or a will to power, but out of love. We should make a daily appointment with God, to help lift the burdens from our souls, and to become more docile of spirit. We should be making daily deposits of time into prayer, to grow our treasure in heaven.
So tithe your time, today and every day. Begin living in heaven now by sitting with the King of Heaven every day.