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The Best of My Time

To everything a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

As a kid time was my slow torturing enemy. The slowness of time kept me from what I really wanted. The time between Christmas mornings seemed like a decade, the time between when school started until when it ended felt like weeks, and being asked to sit still for an hour felt more like sitting still for an entire day! It’s funny looking back now, because sometime in my 20’s time begin to pick up steam. In fact, it moves at such a rapid pace now that I feel I can hardly keep up. I graduated from High School 14 years ago, I graduated from college 10 years ago, I started college 14 years ago, I got married 10 years ago, I’ve been working as a pastor for 6 years, I’ve paid off cars in the past 5 years, and yet it doesn’t feel like it was near that long ago. There are moments when I look at my children and gasp in horror at how old they are getting! Time can be a cruel game.
As I got older I also learned a valuable lesson regarding time. My time suddenly became more valuable to others. More specifically, I learned that I could be compensated for my time in proportion to the importance of the job I was doing for someone. I learned that I was paid more to do important work, than to flip hamburgers. I learned that I was paid more for doing work, than for staying in bed. As I grew older my time really did turn into money. This money helps put a roof over my head, keeps my belly full, and for the most part has allowed me to carve out a comfortable lifestyle for my family. All this has come to me because of the time I’m paid for.
When I’m challenged to give my very best to God, there are many ways I can do that. I can volunteer somewhere and give my time to a great cause, or I can give financially towards something or someone that I support. I’ve aways thought that to give money was the easy way out. I’m rethinking that. If my time is given to an organization and I am compensated for that time in money; then to give my money (hard-earned presumably) then aren’t I giving the best of my time?
When I rethink giving as being an portion of my best time given back to God, it also forces me to rethink how I spend my time when I’m being paid for it. I have challenged myself to honor God in both my giving, and in how I spend my time making the money that will be given.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

1 Comment

  1. dwcliff · November 11, 2008

    Great thoughts! Time is going by faster for you because when you were 10, one year of life was 1/10th of your life, but at age 30, a year is only 1/30th…..its all about the math! :)