Wilneeda A. Emmanuel, J.D., CSA
Women of Color Empowerment Institute
I recently attended a conference where a panelist instructed the audience to close their eyes and to raise a hand if they remembered the last time that the individual did something just for themselves. Although there were about close to 100 people in attendance, devastatingly, only two people raised their hands. Although the results were low, it was not surprising, but it should be alarming. We have to do a better job of taking care of ourselves and holding ourselves accountable to God for the time that is afforded to us daily and being good stewards of our time. God gifts us 24 hours in one day.
The senior pastor at the church I attend, constantly encourages congregants to tithe on their time and mentions that we owe God two hours and forty minutes each day. People are used to tithing ten percent of their net pay. However, how often do we set aside ten percent of our time? The practice of tithing is giving a percentage of our pay to thank God for what we received. Usually, the ten percent is donated to a church and our act of giving is symbolized as us giving the money to God. The tithing practice can be applied to our time by allocating a percentage of our time to God to thank him for the gifted time. Additionally, tithing the time can be used for self-preservation. By intentionally setting aside two hours and forty minutes each day, it translates into us prioritizing our relationship with God and taking the time to pause and reflect for ourselves.
As women, we tend to pay ourselves last and prioritize everyone else’s wellbeing above our own wellbeing. By design, women are nurturers and consequently, we are very charitable with our commodity of time which can be a good thing. However, when we do not prioritize God and our wellbeing, we tend to run the risk of burning out and the worse part of it all is risking all aspects of our health. I am a caregiver and know too well how time is limited and precious. Moreover, I had to learn that if I don’t prioritize my time and myself that I will not be around to help and support my loved one. Recently, I added a calendar on my phone entitled, God in which I schedule 2 hours and 40 minutes each day. I participate in a prayer line that usually takes one hour in which I contribute to tithing my time and depending on my schedule, I distribute the time into my evening time as well.
Life is a miraculous gift that the pandemic painfully demonstrated can be gone within the blink of an eye. According to scripture, our days on earth are numbered. We are not going to be here forever, however, the days that we do have can be maximized and the quality of the days can improve if we allocate our time accordingly. There is spiritual power in our time and tithing on our time.