Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in the way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be God’s house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you.” (Gen. 28:20-22)
Earlier this week, I got into a conversation with a blogger named David Rosendahl regarding how we spend our time. He had done a time study and was reflecting on how little time it seemed he was devoting to “spiritual” things in relation to his work.
I commented that it actually seemed like he was tithing his time — that is, his study reveals that he spends about 10% as much time on spiritual things as he does on work. I also suggested that it’s important to consider whether the time you tithe is “first fruits,” time deliberately set aside for God rather than an afterthought.
In my case, I am typically awake for at least 12 hours each day, so a tithe of my time would be one hour and 20 minutes. Saying Morning Prayer and writing these reflections usually takes about an hour each morning; perhaps I still need to stretch a little and more regularly devote 20 minutes each day for Evening Prayer.
What might it look like for you to tithe your time? If you already do, how might you need to make sure you are giving of your “first fruits” to God?