It never fails, on the day I have a million and one things to do, my neighbor shows up on my doorstep or calls my house for a long chat. Some days, I can greet her with a sincere smile and really listen, but other days, I feel the urge to hide in a back room and pretend I'm not home. It's not that I don't like her, but she's never in a hurry. The sad truth is, some days I just don't feel like I have the time for her.
The thing is, most days I have somewhere I have to be, six things to do before I get there and I'm already five minutes late.
Or at least it feels that way.
I always feel like I'm in a rush, like taking time to eat lunch with a friend or dropping by to visit my parents on a whim will somehow put me miles behind and I'll never get caught up. That if I take time to really listen, I'll become terminally unproductive.
Lately, I've been looking around at my life and realizing that it is filled up with things I don't really enjoy all that much and missing things I do enjoy. I don't mean that in a complain-y, whiney way. I mean that in a "take stock" sort of way.
Sometimes, you have to take a deep breath and really look at your life to see if you are being intentional about how you spend the time God gives you.
In my head, I know the things that are important - things like relationships and stopping long enough to take in God's creation and being thankful and really listening to the person who is hurting or lonely or upset.
But the urgent is a hard task master. It makes it easy to justify shoving those truly important things into the background. So, instead of focusing on my husband or my kids or my family or my friends, I frantically run to accomplish the things on my to do list. I'm not saying they aren't important. After all, I work. There are certain things I do need to get done each day and each week.
However, rushing through my days, feeling five steps behind all the time isn't good for me and it certainly does absolutely nothing to put the important things in a place of priority in my life.
I'm a little afraid I will arrive at my own funeral about 5 minutes late because I needed to "just finish up this one thing" before they wheeled me in.
This year, my goal was to be intentional. I guess that would mean being intentional about how I spend my time, too. I find myself wasting a lot of it in a weird sort of procrastination. It's like I know I have a lot to do, but I feel overwhelmed, so I just avoid it until I'm down to the wire. Then it's crunch time and any margin in my life has been swallowed up, leaving me gasping to meet a deadline.
It's interesting that Jesus who only had a little over three years to accomplish His entire ministry never seemed to be in a rush. It's not like He was lazing around munching on loaves and fishes, but instead of rushing here, there and everywhere, He was purposeful, intentional.
He had time to talk to the woman with the issue of blood who touched His hem. He could have just walked on, but He stopped. He had time to not just heal people but stop, see them and touch them - even the ones that nobody else would touch with a 40 foot pole.
He saw people. He listened to people and really heard them. Even if He had not healed them in a physical way, how much did He give to people just by looking them in the eye and letting them know that someone, anyone heard them and actually cared?
Yet, He had a job to do, too, but despite the clock ticking, He never put the task above the person.
We'll never know what it means to that person we really listened to. We'll never know the encouragement that person received when we made the time to call or send a note. We'll never know that we were the only person who had a kind word for the elderly woman we stopped long enough to chat with in the store.
So, I guess all this is to say - to be "free indeed" I have to throw off the yoke of my to do list. I have to be get rid of the feeling that "I never do enough." God supplies all my needs - and that includes time.
As Dante said we "get lost in the wilderness of daily cares." My goal is to take out my map and not get stuck there!
~ Blessings, Bronte