525,600 Minutes

Recently, 40 billionaires pledged to give at least half of their wealth to charity.  That is a LOT of money going to good causes.  I know these billionaires have more money than they can spend, but it’s still an incredible thing they are doing.  I know we don’t all have money like that, as a matter of fact, most of us will never come close to having that kind of money.  However, there is something we can give back, something worth far more than millions of dollars.  Warren Buffett, who pledged to give away 99% of his wealth, stated the following about his pledge:

Moreover, this pledge does not leave me contributing the most precious asset, which is time. Many people, including — I’m proud to say — my three children, give extensively of their own time and talents to help others. Gifts of this kind often prove far more valuable than money. A struggling child, befriended and nurtured by a caring mentor, receives a gift whose value far exceeds what can be bestowed by a check. 

 I think he hit the nail on the head.  Our time is valuably important.  We never seem to have enough time, so how are we supposed to give more of it?  Let’s think of it this way:

There are 24 hours in a day, and 7 days in a week (168 hours).  Since there are 52 weeks in a year, there are 8736 hours each year.  

Lets go back and think about each day and week.  The column on the left will show the activity the middle column will show the approximate time spent on the activity each day, and the last column will show the approximate time spent on that activity each week.  

Activity                     Hrs per wk day                    Hrs per week
Sleep                                8                                           56
Eating                              2                                           14
Dressing/Shower            2                                           14
Work                                8                                           40
Driving                             1                                            7             
                                                        Total                    131

That leaves  37 additional hours that we usually have something going, lets figure out how we fill this.  Most of us say we pray and study our Bible every day, lets be generous, and say we do this an hour each day.  That brings our total hours to 138 per week.  We still have 1 1/2 days to fill.  Let’s say we go to worship each Sunday morning & evening and go to Bible class on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening these activities are only 4 hours a week.  I know there is also house cleaning, kids activities, etc.  But We’ve only filled 142 of 168 hours!  That means we still have more than an entire day each week, or 14.25% of the week that we can devote to other worthwhile things!   Just imagine how that adds up over a year!

Tips on spending time wisely:
1.  Make a list of your time priorities.  Worship and Bible class, family, work, sleep, etc…
2.  Make a time budget.  Write down how you spend each hour of the day for a week.  Look to see where you spend most of your time.  Make a list of things you want to start doing, or continue to do, and things you do not want to keep doing, or habits that need change.  Now make a schedule for the week of how you want to spend each hour of every day.  Make sure to include the changes.  Sometimes this takes sacrifice, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.  This is a good activity for kids too.  They also need to learn the value of their time and how to spend it wisely.
3.  Always make sure there is time for God.  We often fill our lives so full that we don’t have time for what is most important.  It’s one thing to say God’s a priority, it’s another thing to make God a priority by giving your time to Him.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
Jonathan Larson, Seasons of Love


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