Thursday, March 24, 2011

To Tithe a Life

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
Annie Dillard

Giving money to the things I believe in is a simple decision. I enjoy being able to worship at my church. I appreciate the personnel it requires to run 7 services a week. I like that it's warm in the winter and cool in the summer. When there are needs around the world, I'm glad my church contributes to help on my behalf. Besides, the Bible tells us to bring our tithes and offerings into the house of the Lord (Malachi 3:10). Gladly.

I prefer 4 legged beings to 2 at least 90% of the time. Walking through the animal shelter in my hometown breaks my heart, but I do it on occasion to remember to support the Humane Society and no kill shelters. As the owner of a dog who was almost put to sleep, I want other animals to have the same chance.
Other opportunities to help are everywhere. Meeting material needs is instant gratification and sometimes much easier than giving of ourselves.
In an effort to restructure my time and schedule lately, I've been contemplating what it means to tithe a life. I'm determined my life is in His hands. I know these days were numbered and counted long before I got here. Breathed into existence, I am here to glorify the Father by fulfilling the work He prepared for me to do. I'm trusting that will to unfold a little more each day.
So, we know what it means to bring our tithes into the house of the Lord, but what does it mean to bring ourselves into His presence? What does it look like to offer ourselves every day as a living sacrifice? How are we
If we're giving of ourselves like we've been taught to give of our money, then 2 hours and 40 minutes of every day ought to go to some service of or devotion to the Lord. Does that mean we kneel at the alter at church for 2.5 hours? Maybe no. Maybe yes. Does it mean we spend that time volunteering and doing His work every morning? Maybe no. Maybe yes.
Does it mean that we show up to do His work in His world through the lives He's given us? Absolutely.
I don't know what it means to tithe your life to the Lord, but for me it's been a growing awareness of where my time goes. I'm spending my days remembering that my life is His. I'm taking time to pray without ceasing, if not verbally, then at least in my heart. I'm finding it becomes a spiritual rhythm of God's heartbeat in and through this life and the louder it becomes the more obvious it is-He's worth every moment.
I'm searching for Him in my days and the longer I look the more I realize 10% will never suffice.
God, that You'd be all of me and my everything.


Anonymous said...

Great concept Brenda, I really like the idea. You are so right 10% just won't do it.

Melinda Lancaster said...

I think you've just hit the tip of the iceberg with this, Brenda. You could easily do a series of posts on this subject.
Thank you for sharing this. It is so easy to forget that all of our moments belong to Him...not us.
I love this cry of your heart "God, that You'd be all of me and my everything."
Lord, let it be so!

Sandra Heska King said...

I've thought about this so many times, and you've expressed it so beautifully. You are absolutely right that 10% just won't do. Only everything. All.