The Lord asks everything of us, and in return he offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created…. Gaudette et Exsulte
Instead of a half-hearted effort or begrudgingly offering a portion, Christ asks for our all. No more than what he gave on the cross and no less than what we have been given and are capable of. Still, we allocate time to work, family and friends, exercise, play, and even charity all in the pursuit of happiness. Clinging to time reserved for ourselves we resent the moments we have had to relinquish it. “It’s really not a lot of time we say..and now it is no longer mine.” Though, when we think of it where is true happiness to be found?
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Ps. 37:4
We need only turn to scripture to see clear examples of this enduring wrestling with time and resources. (John 6:9 and Mark 12:41-44) As well as, the result of giving the little we have to offer. Multiplied and utilized in the best way possible, our time and gifts suddenly become so much more than we could have ever imagined. And, we not only no longer miss what we have given but now desire to give even more.
The irony is that the moment we chose to follow Christ, we acknowledged that all of “our” time was now His. For, the living out of our discipleship is simply to offer back the measure of love and mercy that we have received to others. You see when we start laying claim to that which was never ours to begin with we miss the point altogether. Our Father who set the stars in the heavens and the planets in motion forming heaven and earth-conceived time. Though His time is endless-we strive to break time into parts and pieces assigning value to each.
Yet,what if we looked at the whole and rather than seeing the fleeting constrained aspect of it, saw our place as a fluid expansive invitation? For instance, have you ever began a service of love and discovered that the time spent was so very little compared to the gift received back? That what began with a time frame and a mission could now not be quantified in time as the effects would continue to reverberate in your life and that of others? This I believe is true happiness, the experience of being fully alive in answering God’s call and will for our lives.
Am I holding back in my offering each day to God? Or choosing to be stingy with time for others? If so, what do I need to do differently? Think about what that day might look like.