The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

January 26, 2013

Taking valuable resource for granted

Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Aug. 14, 2002. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

What’s harder to find than a pair of socks in a dryer, more precious than a winning lottery ticket and the best remedy when life gets out of perspective?

Time.

It’s a precious commodity that’s getting scarce these days.

Somehow, we have defied every law of physics in the book. There are still 24 hours in every day, 60 minutes in each hour and 60 seconds in each minute. Nevertheless, we have created activities to fill all of them, and we crave more.

Studies have shown most Americans get far too little sleep, making them more prone to accidents and injuries while driving and on the job.

The family dinner table is abandoned most of the time, because it’s nearly impossible to get two family members together at the same time.

Ironically, our homes are filled with appliances designed to save time and free us for more meaningful activities than washing clothes on a washboard or washing and wiping each dish from which we have eaten.

Sometimes I wonder if we, as a society, created this time warp on purpose.

Does all the activity feed our egos and starve our souls? Does the “busyness” of our lives keep us from dealing with civic and church duties?

Whatever the reason, much of the balance has gone from most of our lives. We whiz through each day at the speed of light, going and doing, doing and going — running like hamsters on a little plastic wheel.

Even the most devout Christians spend more time debating whether to worship on Saturday or Sunday than they do about the importance of a Sabbath itself.

If God needed a day of rest, how can we possibly assume we don’t? I’m from a sect that worships on Sunday, but many people in my congregation — including yours truly — leave the worship service in a flurry, hoping to get started on all those activities that soon fill the afternoon and evening hours.

I’ve been trying to work through this dilemma myself, and I’m finding that when I “declare” a Sabbath in my life and set aside a full 24 hours for worship and rest, I suddenly have more hours during the rest of the week. It’s like the tithing principle, I think.

When I put aside that 10 percent, the other 90 percent seems to go further. Either that, or tithing makes me more conscientious about handling money.

I believe we were placed here to be good stewards of all we’ve been given. That includes our time as well as our talents, money, opportunities and other material blessings.

We Christians pride ourselves on believing in the Ten Commandments and glibly forget the Fourth — “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.”

Whether that hallowed day comes on Saturday, Sunday or some other day of the week, it’s a needed respite in our lives. On my Sabbath, I avoid movies and TV, spend more time outside and read uplifting, inspirational materials. I take notes during the sermons and try to reflect on the messages I’ve heard.

For me, it means working a little harder on Saturday to get chores out of the way. Some of them I formerly reserved for Sunday afternoons. It means setting some new priorities, and practicing the discipline of relaxing.

It’s all about practicing my faith in all aspects, and it’s about taking time to value all I’ve been given.

It’s about time, don’t you think?

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