The Offering of Time

There are many things that people offer to others or the Netjeru: food, drink, jewelry, projects, favors, sacrifices/altruistic acts, creations of their own, etc. However, whenever we offer any of these things, or even when we sit in contemplation or prayer, we are simultaneously offering something else: our time.

And if you think about it, that is probably the biggest offering we could make. Time is something we cannot win back.  You can push aside other desires or obligations and “make up” some of the time you lost at 11am so you can do the things you wish at 3pm. However,  you are simply shortening other activities in order to fit in yet another activity in the same time slot. You cannot make time. You can only edit your schedule to accommodate for the limited time you have. There are only 24 hours in a day; if you wish to get more done in those hours, the nature of the activities is what must change.

Time is life itself. No one lives forever, and most of us are trying to figure out, each in our own way, how to make the most of what time we have. When we are faced with choosing between two opportunities, it is often hard because many of us feel that we cannot do both; opportunities or resources will expire in time. You cannot ever watch your daughter grow up again. At the same time, the time spent at home could also be spent at work, earning money to feed her or give her more opportunities later in life. Which do you choose? Can you do both?

Time is money. For many of us, money is how we earn a living and make a place for ourselves in the world. If you want to make more money, most of us need to invest our time: whether its in gaining more training, finding a better job, or putting in more hours in the workplace. Conversely, there is the tragedy of needing more hours at work and being unable to obtain them. In this case, we are struck with the reality that we could be paid for our time when we are most willing to work and yet cannot win the ability to do so.

There are many things we can start anew, but we can never weave more fibers of time into the tapestry of our lives. And when we have come to the end of our spool, we are no longer able to spin the story of our lives.

When I spend time offering up a project or food or whatever, I am definitely giving  those specific things. However, I am also giving up something that, as a human being, is vital to my living and which I can never get back. Though I may not always realize it, that is personally one of the greatest things I can give.

Perhaps this is the reason that regular devotion is so precious: it is a cumulative offering of a nonrenewable resource.

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