Inspired by a homily by Fr. Thaddeus Hanes.
Once a man inherited a very large sum of money from his rich, eccentric relative. A strange stipulation was on the inheritance. Every morning at 5:00 a.m., the man was to receive from the bank $86,400 in cash. He was to use the money as he saw fit throughout the day. By midnight, whatever he did not spend was lost, wasted. He couldn’t save it. He couldn’t invest it. He had to use it or lose it.
At first it was exciting. So much money! So many possibilities! The man decided to try them all!
As time went by, however, days turned to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years. The man wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some days, he didn’t have the energy to spend even one.
He began to see the money as a great weight, an enormous responsibility, a horrible curse. Even between midnight and 5:00 a.m.—his “time off”—he worried about all the money he’d spent in the wrong way and all the money he had failed to do good with. Would it never end?
Well, the bad news is, each of us has a similar curse. Every day, we are given 86,400 seconds to live. As rational human beings, we are conscience-bound to spend each one of those seconds well. At the end of each day, if we examined what we spent them on, we would probably worry as much as the man in the story.
The saying goes time is money. But the good news is, time is actually much simpler than money. Money implies power and ability to change the world. Time implies only the ability to change ourselves.
Let’s take our experience of time at its simplest level. In the beginning, time is measured in heartbeats. About twenty-two days after conception, our hearts began to beat. Before we even looked human, our hearts began to beat. And to this day, they continue to beat. What do they beat for?
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her.”
The Lord says there is need of only one thing. What is it that Mary has chosen that will not be taken away from her? If our hearts could beat for that one thing, we would never worry. Not a single beat would be wasted.
Mary has chosen trust. With trust comes humility, simplicity, faith, grace, peace, and joy. She has chosen to delight the Lord with a pure heart, a heart that beats only for Him. If we place ourselves before Him, even the beats of our hearts during our “off time” as we sleep are not wasted.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and He will give you the desires of your heart.