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Quality over Quantity

"Newgate Clocks" Some rights reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0) by John Keogh. Sourced from FlickrLast Tuesday, I spent the day with a young gentleman. And I do mean young – he turns 5 today. He is my godson, the son of my longest friend; he is the centre of my heart. He is also, however, a citizen of a different province. Getting together requires planning and flexibility, as well as travel by plane and car.

So, as I had one day between meetings last week, and was within driving distance, I set out to spend the day with him. What a day we had! We played with his toys, he sang me some of his favourite music, we read books, we played at the park, he showed me his school (*everything* at his school – “Look Auntie, the carpet!”) It was a great, full, intentional day.

The intentionality of it makes the point. It was a high-quality day. And while they don’t happen nearly often enough, it was great. After bedtime, I had some good quality time with his parents, too. There was hockey talk and Scrabble and much laughter.

The next day, of course, I was back into meetings, and then flying back to Manitoba. But I did it with an extra grin on my face.

The time I spend with my godson and family is never enough – but we appreciate every moment of it. We make the most out of every moment of it. Sure, there are photos and video messages and FaceTime, but that intentional face to face time is so important.

It’s important because it helps support the relationship, to provide aspects I just can’t get online. A kiss blown to the screen is great, but the hug in person is better. The giggle warms my heart, to hear it when he’s holding my hand is such a gift.

Our time with loved ones needs to be intentional, even if it is a short time.  It’s about the quality of the time, even when the quantity is lacking. I think our time with God should be equally intentional. Even if we’re only intentional about our faith nurture for an hour on Sundays, that can be more than taking the time less seriously, with less appreciation.

How we decide to spend our time tells an awful lot about us; if we’re playing games on our smartphones during church (yes, I’ve seen that!) then we’re not really being present to the movement of the Spirit. If our minds are forming a mental grocery list during prayer time, we’re not really engaged, no matter how long we’re sitting there.

Keeping ourselves focused on what’s important, be it with God or with family, can be difficult – there are always distractions, always something else we could be doing, always some temptation to try multi-tasking (which very seldom effective!). So our challenge becomes to make sure that our time is intentional, that it demonstrates our priorities. What time we have is never enough; let’s at least use it wisely and show the world where our hearts are.

About Laura Marie Piotrowicz

I'm a high-energy priest, now serving in the Diocese of Niagara, catching glimpses of the kingdom in daily life. I consider church to be a verb, and I'm passionate about prayer, eco-theology, and social justice. I love travel, reading, canoeing, camping, gardening and cooking, playing with my dogs, and drinking good coffee. http://everydaychristianityblog.blogspot.ca
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2 Responses to Quality over Quantity

  1. They used to say that about the time we spend with raising children but now they have found that is the quantity and the quality leaning more on the quantity.If something is real important to you you will spend as much time as possible doing whatever the cost.We have to be willing to sacrifice for those thing that are important to us.It maybe saying no to things that would put us in a higher standard of living.Some people even try to con God by the quality over quantity ,I give you 100% for one hour every Sunday or so and then touch base every now and then during ,usually when I need something.Would our spouses have ever married us if we treated them like that before we were married. Quantity matters

    • Thanks Tony!
      I agree quantity matters too – if it were possible, I would spend time every day with my godson.
      I also think that the people who ‘con’ God – saying they;ll give 100% for an hour a week – are conning themselves too. I doubt those folks actually give the 100% when (if?) they’re in the pews. Spiritual practice is just that – practice, exercise – it takes regular engagement to get it! Where I was musing was in how we do spend the time we have… imagine if everyone spent some time and energy to be intentional about their time with God, instead of just treating that relationship as flippant and casual.

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