One of the most irreplaceable, valuable things we possess is our time. We cannot go out and buy more time, we cannot go into the kitchen and whip up a couple of extra hours.
And yet time is one of the things we squander the most easily. We waste time, we spend time doing things that sap our energy. If someone asked you to give them money, you might decline, but when they ask you for your time, how do you respond?
There’s nothing wrong with giving someone your time, but I have often been sucked into commitments I should have avoided by thinking—well, it’s only a few hours of my time. I forget time is a pearl of great price.
This odd saying of Jesus forces us to consider: what are the holy things I possess? What are my pearls—the things I value most, the things that are rare and precious to me?
My stuff is not holy. My possessions are not my pearls. But the hours I have each day—these are precious. As my children get older, and move toward independence, I realize I do not get these days to do over. When other people try to demand those pearls from me, sometimes the most holy thing I can do is refuse.
One of the more countercultural ways I spend time with my family is to take a weekly Sabbath. The Bible tells us the Sabbath is to be kept holy. Those precious hours, when I set aside my work and busyness to focus on my relationships with God and my family—they are pearls. In order to protect them, I sometimes have to say no to the requests of others. I think Jesus would approve.
Faith Step: What do you need to say no to in order to protect the holy things in your life? Think particularly of your schedule—have you thrown your pearls before pigs?