David Foreman is pastor of First Christian Church in Aberdeen. He wrote the following article for his church newsletter just before Eight Days of Hope - Tupelo. It was so very good that I asked for permission to share it. Prepare to be challenged and convicted.
This next week is going to be a "big" week for Tupelo. They are expecting around three thousand volunteers from forty-three states to converge on Tupelo. These people are all spending their time to help others who are in need.
Let us look at a few calculations.
1. Man Hours per day - 3,000 x 8 = 24,000 man hours
2. Man Hours in eight days - 24,000 x 8 = 192,000 man hours
Think about how many lives can be touched in some way in just a week. This is only one event where people help others in need. Just think of how much time each year is spent volunteering to help others.
Think of how many lives are touched each year by these efforts.
Daniel, our son, and others volunteer with AMBUCS in Illinois. AMBUCS is an organization that helps mentally challenged individuals. For the last three summers, Daniel has helped with the softball "season". He told me lat week that he was looking forward to next year. It is usually the same people volunteering every year.
These are just two instances of volunteering. Just imagine the number of man hours that are freely given for "good" causes.
Let me get personal for the rest of this article. How many hours do we give to God weekly, monthly, and yearly? Dr. Ray Trantham hinted towards this in his sermon. He talked about the mission field and what has happened and is happening there. These missionaries and their families given many man-hours to God.
Let me do some calculations.
1. Sunday Morning - 2 hours
2. Sunday Evening - 1 hour
3. Wednesday Evening - 1 hour
These are the normal amounts of time many people, which is what I am going to call "average", give God in a week. So the "average" person will give God four hours a week, at the most.
1. 4 x 4 = 16 hours per month
2. 16 x 12 = 192 hours a year
So, how many weeks would it take "average" people, giving the "minimum" amount of time to God, to equal the 192,000 hours given in one week through Eight Days of Hope? There are a couple of ways to look at this.
One is by the number of people. 192,000/4 = 48,000
It takes 48,000 people each Sunday to equal what 3,000 people will do in a week.
Another way to look at it is in years. How many years would it take a church of 100 to give God 192,000 hours if they only did the minimum?
1. 100 x 4 = 400 hours per week
2. 192,000/400 = 480 weeks
3. 480/52 = 9.23 years
It would take almost ten years for a church of 100 "average" people to give the amount of time that will be given in one week.
What if we look at how long it would take one person to given 192,000 hours to God if they only spent 4 hours a week with Him?
I know I will not live that long. How about you?
Now let us look at how many hours God invested in us in a year.
1. 24 x 7 = 168 hours per week
2. 168 x 4 = 672 hours per month
3. 672 x 12 = 8064 hours in a year.
Let's say that you live to be 70. How much time does God have invested in you?
8,064 x 70 = 564,480 hours
We can never "outdo" God, but let us not be the "average" either. Let us give of ourselves with the same generosity that God does.