Nope, it's not money. It's nothing you own. You can't count it, sell it, buy it, or acquire more of it. It's time. No matter what you do, the number of your days is fixed. There's a reason we say we spend our time doing this or doing that. When you use your time to do one thing, you can't also use it for another thing. In business, they call this opportunity cost. The cost of doing X is not being able to do Y. This is a really difficult concept for children to understand. My kids are always upset when they get to bed late and there isn't time to read a book. But usually they're getting to bed late because we were with friends or getting ice cream or otherwise enjoying a fun family excursion together. They don't understand that the time cost of getting ice cream is such that there is no currency remaining for bed time reading.
It's not only kids that struggle with this concept. Like so many things, we can learn a lot from kids. We routinely pack more and more into our schedules until there's no time left for the really important things: family, friends, rest, God. How much of your time do you give to God? How much should you give? Let's ponder this in terms of tithe. We generally think of tithe as 10% of our income (although it's actually more than that if you study through the Old Testament). What would it look like if you gave 10% of your time to God too? That's 2.4 hours (or 2 hours and 24 minutes) every day. Yikes! Between work, grocery shopping, mowing and weeding, and shuttling kids to soccer, sometimes we're lucky to spend 10 minutes in rushed prayer in the morning.
The good news is that this 2.4 hours isn't as monumental as it seems. I can hear the dissension now: "Where will I possibly find almost two and half hours in my busy schedule?" But keep a few things in mind:
1) This time doesn't have to be sequential. Yeah, I don't have time to sit down for two and half hours every morning either. But a little time here, a little time there. Devotions in the morning, short prayers throughout the day, reading the Bible to the kids at night.
2) God-time isn't subject to opportunity cost in quite the same. Paul said, "Whether then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God." So that means that many of the things you already spend time doing can be part of this tithe, if you are doing them for the glory of God. Lots of time in the car? Spend it praying or listening to worship songs or having a spiritual conversation with your wife on the phone. Take time over lunch to reflect on His mercies in your life. Even doing the dishes can be honoring to God (c.f. Brother Lawrence).
3) This is an average amount of time in a day, but if you go to church on Sunday and go to small group and are involved in one or more ministries, you probably get more than two and half hours some days.
But all that aside, the point of this post is that we all probably need to spend more time with Jesus. The time that we have on this earth is a gift, and when we surrender our lives to Jesus, we give that gift back to him. Really, what is two and a half hours when you're giving it to the Maker of the universe? All our time is due to Him if He demands it! And yet, He allows us to live out our fairly mundane lives. But when we submit those lives to Him, He can make the mundane divine.