Have you ever wished for more time? You know the things we say….. “If I had more time I’d have a cleaner house… be in better shape… be able to spend more time with friends… be better organized… have a deeper relationship with Jesus.” And the list goes on! Have you ever uttered these words? In our busy lives, there never seems to be enough time.
Time is a funny thing. When I have lots of it, I seem to get little done. When I have little time, I seem to get lots done! So, here I am in the beginning of my summer vacation and suddenly I have time! I’ve purposefully not filled my calendar so I can spend time doing the things that nurture my soul. I do have a huge list of chores around the house that I need to get done and some professional tasks that I need to complete, but my list of “me” stuff is more important! Now I have the task of using my time wisely. J.R.R Tolkien said, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
I’m reading a book by Ann Voskamp called One Thousand Gifts. She dares us to live fully, right where we are. She talks about needing more time to manage just the life we already have. She talks about our lives that are already so full, seeming empty. Can we actually have so much going that we don’t slow down long enough to really enjoy what we have been given? I’m so busy tending the roses, I don’t have time to stop and smell them. I am constantly challenged with one more thing to add to my life – professional responsibility, ministry opportunity, opportunities with friends. I am learning to slow down, give it some thought and say NO if necessary. Can my busy life handle one more thing?
I’m in such a hurry getting to all of the things in my life that busy my days. Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing… through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away. (Buchanan, Mark, The Rest of God; Restoring You Soul by Restoring Your Sabbath, 2007)
I once saw a TV commercial for bladder control medication that made me laugh out loud and feel a little envious. A woman in her pristine house is reading with her tea and blanket. Because she is taking the medication, she is able to read all day, which they show with a time-elapsed camera. All I see is this woman whose life is so perfectly put together that she has time to read all day! I tried one day to commit to taking the whole day just for me; put aside the rush of a busy day. Comfy chair, tea, blanket and book in place! Perfect! But then the cat was needing food, the laundry piles were distracting me, I had thoughts about what I would make for dinner and was dreading the trip to the grocery store! “Holy cow, my windows need washing… darn that sunshine! Oh look, there’s the mail man! Did I pay that bill that was due yesterday?” Wait…. I was reading a book! I had a cup of tea! I was taking time for ME! Perhaps I could be the star of a commercial for a crazed, wacky, busy, messy-housed lady who needs medication for something! Perfect!
My challenge this summer is to use the life that I’ve been blessed with and the time that God has given me each day, and help them work together. I don’t want to be in a hurry. To quote Ann Voskamp, “I just want time do my one life well.”