" While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? I could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor. And they rebuked her harshly." Mark 14:3-5
This passage of scripture caught my attention this morning as I caught up on Community Bible Study homework. Lately, I have been struggling with time management. The number of things vying for my attention can be overwhelming. From the dozens of ideas running through my mind daily to wanting to utilize every gift the Father has blessed me to possess, and I can't forget the responsibilities I have as a person, wife, and mother. I often find myself distracted by it all. This is part of the reason, I am catching up on my homework instead of already having this particular day done. But I digress because I am not so sure if that if I had completed my homework in perfectly, time orderly way that Mark would've pierced my mind the way that it did this morning.
As I set aside my homework, I reflected back to the woman in Bethany and the responses of those around her. They were livid at her for pouring out a bottle of perfume that equaled at least a year's worth of wages. The onlookers believed that they knew better than the woman at Bethany about the way she should've used something that belong to her. They even made sure to add some goodwill into their opinion tacking on that she could've given the money from the sell of the perfume to the poor. As I read Mark 14:3-9, I was overtaken by thought to consider the one commodity that I have that is often a struggle to divide it just so, time. Just like the perfume in the story time isn't renewable. Once it's gone there's no reclaiming it for a different use.
There have been many seasons in my life where I have questioned myself about the way I have chosen to use my time. I questioned myself because a majority of my time goes to my family. My family comes first. I don't have as much time to spend on my businesses or hobbies as the professional believe I should. Some projects that probably could be done in 20 minutes are often pushed to the side because of priority. I have a long list running all the time.
Most of my time I pour out all over my daughters. From the time they rise until they ditch me to go play with their friends. :) I spend my day pouring into them. This includes disciplining, helping them with their faith journey, teaching them academic and life skills, enjoying their company, and all the things which fall under motherhood. Each of these things take time. Mothering isn't a one day and done job, but instead it is continuous. When I reflected on the passage, the perfume paralleled with time for me in this present day. I pour out my time on something that isn't always seen as valuable because the return isn't seen right away.
I've experienced the same as she who was rebuked for wasting a valuable commodity. Time and time again I've had well-meaning people try to push onto paths which were not meant for me such as classroom teaching because of the needs of the students there. Just like those looking on when she poured out the perfume, they can see that there are others that can benefit from what was being "wasted". It's true classrooms need good teachers and the poor need to be fed. I know from my own experience that it's hard to say no when it's a good thing and you know others can be benefit, BUT He isn't calling you to do that thing. He's called me to do something that I hadn't seen before which is being a full-time mother to my daughters. The Messiah's response comforted my spirit when He defended the woman, He reminded the onlookers that the poor will always be around, but He would not. He could see past the current moment, and this is also true when it comes motherhood and other callings in life. While good or bad opportunities will continuously fight for residence in my life, I have to remember what the Father is calling me to now. Where does He desire for me to be? What does He desire for me to do with the time He has freely given me? I know that the teaching profession along with other professions will be around long after my daughters enter adulthood. My time with them as young people is limited, and it's decreasing with each passing day..
For all of you who struggle with time management like I often do, take a moment and pray for Him to show you where to invest your most valuable commodity, time. Pursue the things He has placed before you. It may counter all you have been taught, but it will be worth it.