Stewards of Time

“Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.”

Exodus 20:8

One of the most difficult places for us to steward our resources has to do with our time. The demands of life seem to outstrip the time we have to meet them. When we do have space, too often we end up consuming it frivolously.
In this verse, God steps into our time stretched lives in a way only God can do. It is the fourth of the ten commandments and thus has a bit of weight to it. But notice that weight doesn’t begin with the words “Don’t do this” or “You should do that.” Instead, it begins with the word “remember.”
Remember the Sabbath day. Remember is an empowering word. If you think about it, remember is a word of distraction. It is a word that calls our focus to something that is not right in front of us. Whatever the normal pattern of life at the moment, let it be broken by remembering.
If I were to remind you that it was a loved one or best friend’s birthday, you would be thankful. You would know that this is not a normal day. It is a day worth celebrating! We should go out to eat! No leftovers tonight!
God is saying to us here: I know that there are tons of things swirling around you right now. I know that you feel like you will never get done all the work that needs to get done. But remember the Sabbath day. And that remembering points us to God. It points past the normal anxieties and priorities that clamor for our attention. It offers to break our patterns.
When we steward our time past the push and pull of life… to be present to God… we step past anxiety and worry and fear and pressure and deadlines into holiness. That time of transcendence changes the time that we give. Then we begin to hunger for the rest that we can only find when we remember.
Jesus, you know the pressing and the pulling we feel from our schedules. You know the weariness we feel trying to do all that is asked of us. You also see the myriad ways we allow that busyness to steal from you the time we could be… should be spending upon you. Whisper to us this moment to remember. Break us from the tyranny of the things going on around us and teach us to rest in you. Thus rested, allow us to live anew into the things required of us today. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Keenan Barber