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Time Spent – with God

September 18, 2016

I found a spreadsheet that I put together a while back. Always lots of ideas, but less making use of them,…. sigh. Well, here we are and I want to share my data about time spent. The bottom line, where do we spend the most of our time, and then why do we think we have no time to do the things that we give the least to.

This data is not scientific. It is based on guesstimate data of a seemingly average 80 year lifespan. Is your life different from this guesstimate life? Of course it is. But hopefully it will give all of us pause as to where we really spend our time, and where we could use our time wiser.

I created eight general categories. Some of them we really can’t change the time usage. We must sleep; it is the body’s time to repair. We must earn a living so that we can pay for things in life, but there is such a thing as working too much, or too little. We must eat to nourish and energize our bodies. We must educate ourselves to be useful contributors to society (what is the nature of that education isn’t up for discussion here). The wild cards are leisure time, conversation/socialization, shopping, and time with God. I didn’t include volunteering, even church activities, in with “time with God” because the end focus of that time isn’t one-on-one with God, even though one may be volunteering to clean the sanctuary or teach catechism. Being with God is much more than “just” one-on-one, but we have to have that time to know how to share Him with others. There are also some activities not mentioned like child care, house work, and other chores. These probably come out of most peoples leisure time….

So what did I come up with?

Sleeping is our biggest time user. Ideally, we sleep every day of our lives. So that is eight hours a day, which adds up to 2920 hours per year. If one lives to a nice age of 80 years, then we sleep for 233,600 hours, or 26.7 years of our life is spent sleeping.

Leisure is next on the list. This mainly refers to TV time, vacations, games, even parties and other social events. Many of us over do the leisure activities, maybe even five hours a day. It may seem excessive for some, and for others it may still be on the light end. Five hours a day is 1800 hours a year plus a week of vacation which is 168 hours (yes, some of that overlaps with sleep and others). That puts us at 157,440 hours of leisure in a lifetime, or 18 years!

A standard worker bee works for eight hours a day, five days a week, basically 2000 hours per year. Most people will be in the workforce for 47 years. We get to 94000 hours or 10.7 years of work.

Eating. We may eat on the run. Or we may cook a full course meal and sit down with the family. Either way we are cooking or waiting in the drive thru. Average it out a bit, and I figured three meals a day which uses three hours a day. 1095 hours per year eating, or 87600 lifetime eating hours which is ten years.

Social time, conversation, something we all love to do… There are multi-tasking conversations, but some are just sit down with a cup of tea and chat. That can be hours! So let’s say two hours a day from age 5 (yes, a little young, but some kids can talk!) to 80. That’s 730 hours per year, 54750 hours per life or 6.25 years.

Shopping. Are you one of those who was born to shop? Then you will have more than this. Just think of all the things we shop for. All the ways that we can shop in this information age. We buy groceries, shampoo, magazines, clothing, household, gasoline, etc. We shop brick and mortar and we shop on-line. That’s a lot of shopping! I guessed twelve hours a week. That’s 624 hours per year. 40560 hours or 4.6 years of shopping per life time.

While most people go to school K-12 and maybe four years of college, we only spend 2.3 solid years in formal education! (Probably a little more for the very studious.) Continuous education is another story. That is even some people’s leisure. So in school and probably some homework time is seven hours per day for nine months. That’s 1260 hours per year for 16 years. 20160 lifetime learning hours.

Finally our time with God. Again, these are numbers for the average person, a church goer who prays regularly, albeit, briefly. Fifteen minutes a day of private prayer which is 91.25 hours per year, plus 60 hours a year for Sunday Mass and holy days. That is 12100 hours per lifetime with God or 1.4 years.

We give our eternity so little time! We barely give God a passing glance within our whole life time. How sad. No wonder we don’t know how to relate to Him. We don’t even give Him the time of day.

While we need to up our personal prayer time. We also need to infuse all of our activities with prayer and the knowledge of God. Yes, volunteer to clean the sanctuary, but also see Jesus in each and every person that we come in contact with. Be Mother Teresa in your own little plot of the world. Don’t just allot God a token of your time, but bring Him with you where ever you go.

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