This life is a constant battle for time.
Each day I fight for it – for time to do things that breathe life into me during this endless season of breathlessness, otherwise known as life.
And since becoming a mother, I’ve found that I fight even harder for it. For time. Because it’s in shorter supply than I could have ever imagined.
So, when others ask for the time I’ve tried so hard to protect, I feel burdened by it. Inconvenienced. Sometimes even resentful.
I fall into the trap of putting my time above all else.
Yes, everyone needs personal time to breathe, rest, relax. Otherwise, we are sure to crumble under the weight of this life.
But in a world that screams to make self a priority – to schedule me-time and self-care and prevent anything from getting in the way – I forget that these things aren’t the priority over all other priorities.
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been asked to sacrifice my time on a number of occasions. To help out. To offer a hand. To fill in the holes.
And I fought against it. Grumbled about it – about giving up MY time. Because don’t I give enough of my time to my kids and husband? Do I have to give it to others too?
I reluctantly gave in. I helped. I sacrificed. I opened my hands and my home. I showed up when I didn’t want to. And I fully embraced the position of a martyr.
But then my friend JC so kindly reminded me that “Freely you have received, freely give.” And while this statement applies to a million other things, it also applies to my time.
Because I didn’t have so much that NEEDED to be done that I couldn’t spare some time for others. I did in fact have the capacity to help keep others on their feet instead of leaving them to lay in the dust.
Yes, time is in short supply. Yes, there never seems to be enough of it to get everything done that I’d like to. Yes, I long for silence and solitude.
But I am not owed any of these things. I am not owed a specific amount of time or any time at all. In fact, the time I’ve been given isn’t even my own.
My time on this earth isn’t something I’ve earned. I haven’t done anything to deserve it. So when someone is in need of my time, certainly I can find some to give away. Even when it’s inconvenient. Even when I don’t want to. Even when I think I have better things to do.
My time has been gifted to me, and in turn, it is my responsibility to gift it to others.
This time on earth isn’t just about me or my children or my little family. Yes, there are seasons where time truly is in such short supply that there isn’t any to give away. But more often than not, that’s not the case.
There’s a world full of people in need. A world of people who are hurting, struggling, unsure of how they are going to keep themselves from completely breaking. I’ve been there. I know they are afraid to ask for help because it’s hard to ask for someone else’s time – it doesn’t feel good to burden another. So when they do ask, I know it wasn’t easy and I can assume they are in genuine need.
And I can respond by loosening the reins on my own personal clock.
Because I’ve been given time. So I can give it too.