I stopped counting my hours

Andrew Liemon

My typical summer days usually began at 10 AM, thinking ahead of time when I will be home after spending ‘8 hours’ of work. My mom and I talked about how the working hours at church should go by easily. I expected to be playing ping-pong, surfing the internet, opening and closing the church building as it is used a lot during the day. I was looking forward to traveling (going to San Jose 2007, particularly) With no surprise, that’s how I came to the conclusion to take part of Ministry Inquiry Program Summer 2007 without knowing a single clue of what was really ahead, not even a glimpse.

The very first task I did was accompanying Mr. Freddy for a post-surgery visit at Jefferson Hospital at 9 o’clock in the morning. I got up assuming that I ‘d get to leave an hour early, since I started the day earlier. For the next several weeks, I tried to keep count of my working hours. I was always calculating everything and weighing all the things necessary to accomplish the assignments for that day and to reach my 440 hours for the end of the summer.

As we got further into the summer, we started doing more things around church and that included staying longer in order to finish the to-do-list for that day. I got frustrated with the effort of keeping track of my working hours while still trying to keep up with my errands. Until one day I began asking myself…

I am only required to work for 40 hours a week, yet it seems that there’s never enough time in our daily schedule. I thought that I decided to do his is only to spend a relaxing summer time and getting paid at the same time. Pretty good deal, I thought. But looking back the last couple weeks, it didn’t go as I had in mind. Not even close. During those times, God spoke vividly to me of how Jesus never counts the time he has spent with us.

Can you imagine how much we owe if God would’ve counted the time?
Can you imagine if we could ever repay?
Can you imagine our lists of complaints to God?
Yet, can you think of how much time we spend for God’s kingdom?

I stopped counting the hours after that moment. Though I still looked forward for any break or a nap, working in God’s kingdom became more rewarding when we gave back our time to Christ. There’s no such thing as a long and tiring day. There’s always something to look forward to in the next day. And since then, I am just grateful I don’t have the haunting task of tallying my working hours as service to God

Andrew Liemon attends Philadelphia Praise Center in South Philadelphia and is a student at Penn State Delaware County. He served in the Ministry Inquiry Program this summer through a grant from Eastern Mennonite University.