During the past several months, St. John’s has been conducting its annual Stewardship Campaign. The focus of the “campaign” has been on encouraging parishioners to consider making a financial pledge to the church for 2015. We have emphasized that whatever money we have has been given to us by God – that it belongs to God – and that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of it.
Although stewardship of our money is important, it is also important for us to focus on our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s gifts of time and talents, as well. Each day, God gives us 24 hours. The way we spend those 24 hours is influenced by many factors, including our work responsibilities, coping with illnesses, demands placed upon us by family and friends, and, not to be underestimated, the choices we make as to how to use our “free time.” Since I retired four years ago, I have had to reassess how I spend my free time, now that I have more of it. The temptations to sit around the house watching TV shows that aren’t really that important, or to put off getting back in touch with friends and family that were once very important to me, or to just “play,” are very easy to succumb to.
However, an article written by a Christian minister, Dr. David Jeremiah, reminded me that time, just like talents and money, belongs to God, and has been given to us to use in a conscious manner, consistent with God’s desires. I now look forward to my next gift of 24 hours with a greater sense of purpose, and with a greater appreciation of the need to prioritize how I use the time that God has given me for whatever purposes God has in mind.
-Ralph E. Olson