In previous articles about the objective of embracing stewardship as a way of life for our parish, I discussed the need to understand the spirituality of stewardship. I emphasized that we are creations of a loving God (our Father); that all we are and have are gifts from Him. He entrusts these gifts to us for use, not only for ourselves but to help others to gain eternal life. We also need to build a personal relationship with God. This relationship needs toexist based on Identity, Trust, Gratitude, and Love. God cares for us as individuals.
Now let us begin looking at the aspects of stewardship which addresses Time, Talent and Treasure. In this particular article, we shall look atTIME.
We live in a world that is dominated by a time-based focus. Time was created for us in this world to regulate our daily activities. God has no need fortime because He is eternal. But we are different. We wear watches that tell us when to get up, when to eat meals, when to go to work, when to relax, whento go to bed, etc., even when to go to Mass, and then we start all over again. It seems that everything in our lives depends on time. In our practical lives, many times we fail to see time as God’s gift to us. Many times, we are consumed by the cares of this world and “forget” to give some of our time toGod. Of the 24 hours God has given us, how many hours, or minutes, do we give back to God in prayer and other spiritual activities? I would venture toguess that we normally give the minimum, to this point when Mass exceeds an hour, we often either complain or leave early. Yet, when we go out to a movie or watch a football game, we rarely complain about the time spent at all. So, how much time of the 24 hours do we give for communicating with God?
Communication is important in any relationship, with our families, our friends, our parishioners. It only makes sense that if we want our personal relationship with God to flourish, we must ensure that we develop and continue our communication with Him. One might say that they pray to God in church and in other religious group settings. This communication is good and important, but we must also have our one-on-one time with God. Silent prayer can be a means of enriching our personal relationship.
It is during this time that we can thank Him for all that He has done and does for us. Personal prayer time can be the time when we ask him for ourneeds. It can be when we silently listen to what God wants to tell us, individually. He might not answer our requests right away; If our petition is good for us, He will grant our request in His time.
For this time to be fruitful, we need to eliminate distractions that take our focus away from what we are trying to accomplish. Find a quiet time andplace to have this conversation, for even a few minutes. Any amount of time we give back to God is welcomed and pleases Him, it is beneficial for ourrelationship and will foster good growth. If you feel that time is an issue, begin small and work your way up to more substantial time in prayer, such as in Adoration. Remember, as Father Kemberling offers in his book, “we don’t FIND TIME to pray, we MAKE TIME to pray.” Give it a try