Time is a precious resource that we are called to carefully steward like any other resource.
Time As Gift
Time is a gift that we are called to steward wisely. Like any other gift, we are called to put it to use for God's purposes.
Many are not fortunate to earn vacation or sick time in their jobs, or the ability to take paid family leave time when they need it. We need to advocate for laws that let everyone take the time they need.
It is easy to let time get away from us and spend it arbitrarily (and wastefully). Stewardship of time calls us to use our time with clearer intentions.
Busy-ness is one of the main reasons people can't seem to find find time for regular prayer. Our time management should allow for time to be present with God.
Rooted in the Creation account, we are called to place Sabbath limits on our time in order to rest and set aside time for God.
Time is a family value. We Americans talk a lot about family values, but our long working hours, the longest in the modern industrial world, mean families seldom see each other. Only 25% of American families share dinner together. If we want to strengthen American families, there's no substitute for quantity time; time together keeps marriages and families together.
Take Back Your Time Day
The command is "Do no work." Just make space. Attend to what is around you. Learn that you don't have to DO to BE. accept the grace of doing nothing. Stay with it until you stop jerking and squirming.
Dallas Willard, The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship
Time constantly threatens to become our great enemy. In our contemporary society it often seems that not money but time enslaves us....
Henri Nouwen, Sojourners
Sabbath, in the first instance, is not about worship. It is about work stoppage. It is about withdrawal from the anxiety system of Pharaoh, the refusal to let one’s life be defined by production and consumption and the endless pursuit of private well-being.
"Seasons of Love" from Rent
Time Management For Catholics
Whether you change tires or change diapers, it's easy to get so busy that you neglect the things that matter most - your relationship with your family and your relationship with God. This handy guide combines proven time management techniques with valuable directions on how to order your life so that faith and family come first. You'll learn how to find the time you need for your family, your job, your finances, and your health. He even helps you make time simply to relax! Best of all, he'll teach you how to make time for the most important thing you can possibly do in this world: strengthen your relationship with Almighty God. (Amazon)
Sabbath In the Suburbs: A Family's Experiment With Holy Time
Rev. MaryAnn McKibben-Dana
"Life felt like a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle with 600 pieces." As she considered her family's frenetic suburban existence--a relentless list of work, errands, carpool, dishes, email, bills, yardwork--she knew something had to change.
The family faced a choice: to continue at the same frantic pace or to fight back with a radically different way of being. They went radical. For one year, they committed to a practice of Sabbath-keeping. For a whole day each week, they set aside their doing in order to simply be. Work took a backseat to games, walks, Legos, naps, homebrewing, and leisurely contentment. The practice never got easier--the house was a mess, the kids still fought--but Sabbath became the one essential "to-do" each week.
With lively prose ("a fresh voice and energy" -Publishers Weekly), Dana documents the Sabbath experiment as a guide for families of all shapes and sizes. Each chapter includes tips to help you claim Sabbath moments--to see time not as an enemy to subdue, but as a friend to savor. (Amazon)
Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America
John de Graaf, Ed.
The typical American worker puts in nine weeks more on the job than his or her European counterpart. The costs of this overwork are enormous, both personally and societally. This bracing collection of essays is both a wide-ranging analysis of the phenomenon and a blueprint for change. With contributions by such notable names as Vicki Robin, author of Your Money or Your Life, and David Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World, this book shows what ordinary citizens can do to restore balance to themselves and their communities. This is the official handbook for Take Back Your Time Day, a national event rallying support for reclaiming a proper work-life balance. (Amazon)
Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight In Our Busy Lives
In today's world, with its relentless emphasis on success and productivity, we have lost the necessary rhythm of life, the balance between work and rest. Constantly striving, we feel exhausted and deprived in the midst of great abundance. We long for time with friends and family, we long for a moment to ourselves.
Millennia ago, the tradition of Sabbath created an oasis of sacred time within a life of unceasing labor. Now, in a book that can heal our harried lives, Wayne Muller, author of the spiritual classic How, Then, Shall We Live?, shows us how to create a special time of rest, delight, and renewal--a refuge for our souls.
We need not even schedule an entire day each week. Sabbath time can be a Sabbath afternoon, a Sabbath hour, a Sabbath walk. With wonderful stories, poems, and suggestions for practice, Muller teaches us how we can use this time of sacred rest to refresh our bodies and minds, restore our creativity, and regain our birthright of inner happiness. (Amazon)
Timelock: How Life Got So Hectic and What You Can Do About It
When traffic gets so congested that it can no longer move, engineers say it has reached a state of "gridlock". According to Ralph Keyes, many of us are in a state of "timelock". This is the condition that occurs when claims on our time grow so demanding that we find it impossible to wring one more second out of a crowded calendar. In this informative and entertaining book, which is filled with real-life examples, Keyes explains how we got ourselves into this position. He considers the "vanishing pause," "speed inflation," and "the convenience catch." Paradoxically, Keyes says, a key source of timelock are the very tools we've adopted to save time: computers, faxes, microwave ovens. Keyes doesn't just assess the sources of timelock but suggests how we can get out from under its pressure. (Amazon)
Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, and Technology
For every successful person in a perpetual-crisis mode--swimming in papers, overrun with complicated new technology, hamstrung by details, and starving for time--here are simple, practical strategies for getting back your desk, your peace of mind, and most of all your time. (Amazon)
- Take Back Your Time (YouTube)
- Time Crunched: How busy schedules are sapping our spirit (Thomas J. Billitteri, U.S. Catholic)
- In Paid Family Leave, U.S. Trails Most of the Globe (Tara Siegel Bernard, New York Times)
- Keeping Sabbath: Reviving a Christian Practice (Dorothy Bass, Christian Century)
- Do You Have the Time? (Ralph Keyes, Parade Magazine) (HTML)
- Keeping Sabbath: Ways To Practice - Worship (PracticingOurFaith.org)
See the following prayers in Prayers For the Domestic Church: A Handbook For Worship in the Home by Edward Hays:
- Blessed Are You, Lord Our God, Who Daily Gifts Us With Time
- New Year’s Blessing Prayer For Clocks and Calendars
Organizations & Websites
Advocate For Sabbath
Preach on the biblical concept of the Sabbath day and challenge parishioners to observe it. Lent and the hectic Advent season are good times to do so.
Observe Time Day/Week
Observe Take Back Your Time Day/Week and use it as an opportunity to educate on time stewardship.
Host a movie night provoking thought on time, featuring movies such as Groundhog Day (time usage) or Chariots of Fire (Sabbath).
Coordinate With Liturgical Season
Reflections on time work well with Advent, a season of anticipation and waiting. The reflective season of Lent could work well, too.
Incorporate In Liturgy
Draw awareness to time in liturgy by having significant pauses between readings or at other points in the liturgy. Encourage people to not check the time during liturgy (or remove their watches, or put them on another hand, or move their phone to where they won't check it).
4-page overview handout used as a bulletin wrapper to introduce the concept to a parish.
Since occupation is the primary way we spend our time, these topics are closely related.
Time is a major component of the voluntary simplicity Gospel value.
Time management is a significant topic for discernment.
All of the precepts of Christian stewardship apply to time, just as any other resource.
Applying Sabbath limits to our time requires us to take healthy breaks and set aside time for God.