Timely gifts we can give co-workers
We often talk about stewardship as being not only about money. We talk about time, talent and treasure. Sometimes there are concrete ways in which they overlap.
For example, a while back I wrote about a very devoted member of another church who told me that other coworkers were getting overtime money while he was volunteering at the Boy Scouts or at church. He was showing me how giving his time affects his treasure in negative way, and therefore how much he can give.
I saw something the other day on television that was quite the opposite. The show featured people who were donating benefit time to coworkers.
A fairly high percentage of companies, (I think they said 40 percent) allow people to do this. You can give unused time off to a coworker who is sick or has sick family or some other emergency so that they can stay on the payroll during the crisis. A personnel manager in a company that provides this benefit commented that the plan has improved morale.
In some arrangements, employees simply donate their unused time to the company and then the personnel people administer the time. In other companies you can elect to contribute to a coworker when the crisis emerges.
My first thought was that I would want the control. I would want to decide to give my time where I chose and when I thought it was deserving. The more I thought about it, however, I realized that I don't always know who is deserving. Furthermore, if God only gave to the deserving, then I would be in big trouble. And lastly, maybe if someone wasn't a stellar employee or coworker and they became the recipient of this kind of gift, maybe it would open their hearts and make them grateful. Isn't it an undeserved gift of love from God, in the gift of the Son, that changes us?
Maybe there should be some of both. For example, maybe some of your time, especially time that you would lose at the end of the year, could be pooled for people, but you could give above and beyond for something extraordinary.
To me that is how life works. We give our tithe of time and treasure and then sometimes we feel called to give more.
In the same way we are daily blessed with so many things and yet there are times that we feel especially like God has been smiling on us. It is always a blessing when we are able in a concrete way like thins to be part of God's blessings.
Lord, We give you thanks for the minutes and hours and days of our lives. May we offer them all to you and also to our neighbors in need. Amen
Copyright © 2007, The Rev. Dana Reardon. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Email her at
The Rev. Dana Reardon is pastor at St.
Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Warwick, RI. A lifelong Lutheran, she
came to ordained ministry after 21 years in nursing, mostly in pediatric
intensive care. She graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary at
Philadelphia in 1998 and served 4 ½ years in Upstate New York before
becoming a New Englander. She is still trying to understand the
accent. While in the Upstate New York Synod she chaired the Stewardship
Team. That began her fascination with what makes stewards -- and more,
what makes for generosity. She has three amazing daughters: Pastor Reardon says much of what she knows of
life she learned from them.