Monday, August 22, 2011

Tithing Your Time At Work

I heard a simple but remarkable idea in a homily which Fr. Arne Panula gave a while ago.  In it, he suggested we mentally “tithe” our time at work. The idea is simple: figure out (roughly) what percentage of your income you give back to God, and then mentally block out that percentage of your workday, and set it apart for God.

So, for example, if you give 10% of your income back to God, and work eight hours a day (480 minutes), you should “tithe” 48 minutes. Then, you choose an actual 48-minute block of time -- perhaps the first 48 minutes of the day, or the first 48 minutes when you're back from lunch -- and say,  “God, I'm working these next 48 minutes for you.”

And then do it. Work during that period as if you're working directly for God.  Be charitable to your coworkers, refrain from sloth and gossip, and just generally have God ever-present in this portion of your workday.  Of course, it'd be great if we had this attitude during every moment of the day, but cultivating these virtues in a set block of time is a good starting place.

5 comments:

  1. Oh. Wow. I'm glad I read this. i think I needed it! What a great idea.

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  2. Hey Joe,
    I've got in touch with the guy (who was deacon, but is now a priest) who has communicated with Mark Driscoll. Email me at bcmillegan@gmail.com and I can pass on his email address to you.

    Brantly

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  3. Great idea! As someone right in the middle of the eight-to-five cubicle world, this really hit home.

    Somewhere in my spiritual reading I found the suggestion to "especially focus" on your work from 3pm-4pm each day in commemoration of the (traditional) hour of Our Lord's death.

    I like that one, too.

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  4. Brandon,

    Fr. Panula was where I originally learned about that, as well: he suggests offering up a quick prayer at 3 o'clock, in honor of Our Lord's Death, while we're "dying" at our desks.

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  5. If you work for the Church, does that mean you have to give all your money to God too? Just kidding. What a great idea.

    Jeanne G.

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