There has been a common thread in conversation among my community of people in the last 6 weeks or so…it has to do with the economy. It started when Rod addressed the pressures of the economy and its ability to dictate who we are, what we commit to, and how we view life. Most decisions (be they big or small) are economic in nature for the majority of Americans. Where I live, the clothes I wear, the time I invest in others, the time I “give” to God, whether I publicly or privately meet with other believers, the TV shows I watch…each of these decisions is often guided by economic principles – what will it cost me, how much time will it take, what’s the impact on my cash flow, will I be asked to give more?
I suppose I understand why such questions drive our decisions – we live, in many ways, bound to the economy here in the USA. Food, clothing, shelter – these things cost money. Money is acquired through working (robbing banks and the like is discouraged). For many people, just providing the necessary basics takes 40 hours of work a week (or more). Added to that is the pressure of ensuring that your children are “well” educated (which being translated means that they go to the “best” schools and are offered the “best” opportunities), (which being interpreted means, it’ll cost you a chunk of money). And don’t forget to save up for retirement…after all that working, you’ll need some cash stored away so that you can start enjoying life after 65.
It’s a pretty bleak situation. And we’re expected to make decisions for ourselves, our families, and our futures on a daily basis. Where I live, what I wear, and the time I freely give become huge issues when we’re trying to provide, educate, and plan.
But here’s the rub. Too often, life is missed in the living (ay, there’s the rub!). I keep going back to the words of Jesus – these are the words that dictate who I am, what I commit to, and how I view life…what about you?
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10).
We are to be living life in Jesus to the full. Abundant and full lives are not lived according the world’s economy (regardless of what that economy tells you). The economy of the Kingdom is not based on money…it is based on the heart of God for redeeming this world. Providing, educating, planning – all good things…the question is how do we make decisions about those things? Do I miss out on God coming through for me with His provision because I’m spending my time providing for myself (and others)? Do I neglect raising my children up to know God and others because I need them to know information and develop life skills so they can make money? Do I ignore my role in what God is doing here and now because I’m spending my time planning for the future?
Here’s my simple math…I recognize that not everyone’s situation is the same…but most of the people I know fit into this…
24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week = 168 hours in a week
40 hours a week for work (we’ll bump it up 50 because of your commute)
56 hours a week for sleep (if you get the 8 hours you’re supposed to get, I’ll pretend you do)
50 (working hours)+56 (sleeping hours)=106 hours booked
168 (hours/week) – 106 (hours booked) = 62 hours remaining
62 hours is over one-third of the hours in a week. It’s over half of the waking hours in a week. It is 12 more hours per week than you work.
What are you doing with them?
Don’t tell me that you don’t have time to feed the hungry, gives drinks to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, take care of the sick, or visit the prisoner. You have 62 hours a week.
What are you doing with them?
Are you living by the demands of our economy or are you investing in the Kingdom of God and lving the life that Jesus gives you to the fullest?