Most of us are frantically conscious of how we have to hoard time. After all, how else are we going to get anything done?
St. Ignatius advised his charges to take another approach. "In business matters, be generous with your time; that is, if you can, do today what you promise for tomorrow."
Lest you think these are the other-worldly ruminations of some mystical idealist, recall that Ignatius led a very busy life — and directed the Society of Jesus, which he founded, to include legions of men with a huge influence in the world before he died. Certainly he had to spend his limited amount of time and energy judiciously.
But he did so from an other-centered perspective of service, not from a self-centered perspective of panic. Time is a gift from God. Surely He gives us enough of it to accomplish the things that really matter to Him.
Here are some resolutions to put you in the same mindset:
- I must understand that God wants me to be generous with my time and not hoard it to myself.
- I must plan my workday based on the needs of others and the tasks at hand, not according to my pleasures and my peeves, recognizing that I have roles and responsibilities outside of work too.
- I will try to stay focused on the work that needs to be done, even if I find it dull.
- I will defer my rewards until the work is done.
Recognizing how difficult this is — especially when we have a multitude of roles to serve — we should also recognize the importance of asking God for help with the work He has given us. Make time for prayer and God will help you make time for everything else.
Adapted and used with permission from Take Five: On-the-Job Meditations with St. Ignatius by Mike Aquilina and Fr. Kris D. Stubna, Copyright © by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc.
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