168 Hours

“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.”  – Isaiah 55:1-2

One of the things I find myself preaching about the most is time, and how we choose to use it. In one of the few equalities of life, we all are given 168 hours per week. How each of us uses them varies widely, but few of us ever feel that we have enough hours in our week.

Sleep, work, school, childcare, cooking, cleaning, driving . . . the list goes on, and the things we just can’t avoid doing rarely allow time for the things we want to do.

People tell me this all the time. They tell me they struggle to make time to pray, to read Scripture, to think about their faith, or to even come to church. And I get it. We are all busy.

But I also believe this: we make time for the things we really care about. That’s not a judgement on anyone. That’s just a fact. If we care about something or someone enough, we find a way to make time.

Isaiah asks his listeners why they spend good money on what doesn’t satisfy them. It’s a good question, and it’s one that could just as easily be applied to time. Why do you spend all your time doing things that do not satisfy you? Or put another way, if someone saw your weekly calendar, what would they say you valued the most?

Lent is the time when we are asked to look at our lives, and get rid of what is not working. Sometimes that means saying “no” to being busy, and saying yes to the things that give us joy. Don’t waste your time on what doesn’t fill you up. Choose only that which satisfies your deepest hunger.


God, thank you for 168 hours. Help me to find you in each of them. 

dd-emilyheath.jpgAbout the Author
Emily C. Heath is the Senior Pastor of the Congregational Church in Exeter, New Hampshire, and the author of Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity.