07 October 2014


I’ve always heard it said that in the U.S., time is money. 

And I never really felt that I lived my life that way. 

But now that I’m in Madagascar, I’m realizing how much that idea is ingrained into my home culture. A recent English class had me listing hobbies on the board. Under ‘to swim’ and ‘to watch TV’ I wrote ‘to spend time with family or friends’. As I took a step back to review the list, I finally made the (fairly obvious) connection that Americans  use the phrase ‘to spend time’ the same way that we use ‘to spend money’. And in a way, I think that places a value judgment not only on our possessions, but where, with who, and how we use the 24 hours given to us each day. 

Right there in the middle of the lesson, I decided I don’t want to ‘spend’ time anymore. I’d rather ‘live’ time. Soaking up and enjoying every second of it. Time isn’t a paycheck, but a gift. A gift that God presents to us every morning, wrapped in the beautiful hues of the sunrise. So I will choose to cherish this gift and appreciate it. Share it and indulge in it. Will you join me?


Mark Rich said...

Hi, Madeline!
My wife and I were ELCA missionaries in Fianarantsoa several years ago. Your story about 'spending time' (as we love to say in America) reminded me of something. There's a big FLM church in Tana named Ambatovinaky - you may get a chance to go there sometime. It's huge, and it's up near the Rova. I happened to go there once and I noticed a clock on the wall near the front of the sanctuary. It was plainly an American gift, because it had clearly printed, on the front and in English: "Time Is Money." I had to cringe.
As you well know, we are approaching Thanksgiving, then there are the preparations for Christmas. Our cars, our media, our activities - everything conspires to make us rush more and more. And yet it rarely conspires to make us full, or happy, or content with the blessings God gives us.
I'm very pleased that you know so well how to let time flow, and count your blessings instead of your minutes.
Pastor Mark Rich

Maddie said...

Hi Pastor Rich!
Thanks for reading! I have seen that church but haven't been inside yet. It was such a blessing to experience an alternative to our busy US holiday season this year. I certainly appreciated the slower pace and emphasis on giving thanks for the gift of Jesus. There is so much to learn about time from our Malagasy brothers and sisters. Mazatoa!