This is my allotted time for writing… and I have nothing to say.
Or too much to say…
Whichever it is… I’m still only staring.
So I looked over at my dad and said, “What should I write about today.”
Without a blink, he said “Time.”
A million thoughts race through my head.
How much I have.
How little I have.
How poorly or well I spend it.
Quality versus quantity.
How Jesus spent his time. (Here’s a neat article that I won’t re-write)
How precious it can be… and how painful.
How time can be wasted or full lived.
Cut off or endured.
The clock ticks above me… tick, tick, tick.
I can be in this moment… and not.
Living in the future of to-dos or in the past of too-bads.
Ultimately, what I know, is that the time I am given is limited. I can squander it on my own fascinations or use it for greater causes and purposes than I can even imagine having a stake in.
Like sitting on the floor, playing a game with my small ones.
Or having a conversation about life with my older ones.
Listening to my husband unload his day so he can breather easier, shoulders lighter.
Causes often categorized under “too slow,” “not productive enough,” or “boring.”
Causes whose own clocks are tick, tick, ticking… limited.
Until I’ve missed it entirely. The season is gone. The games are dusty. The conversations are echoes of the past. Missed moments in the name of multi-tasking efficiency.
The laundry was done, the dishes washed, the carpets cleaned… but hearts neglected.
The quality of a moment lies not in the task or its achievement… but in the lives touched because of how it was spent.
Just ask my dad.
He has never once been too busy to stop and talk.
He’s never brushed me off for some big, important world issue to solve (though there are plenty of them).
He’s never cut me off short to attend a meeting.
Or cancelled an appointment.
Every moment is spent investing, personally, in the lives of others.
Through coaching, advising, supporting, assisting, listening, waiting, teaching, advocating, encouraging… being present.
Because personal life investment can happen anywhere, anytime, regardless of what you’re doing.
Because the task is secondary. It’s the tool. The conduit through which you have access to the lives of others… and can speak life into them.
How confused I get about the purpose of a moment! The purpose of the activity I am part of! That cooking dinner is not just about filling empty tummies… but expressing concern, love, and affection for those in my life who are hungry.
It’s not about the food.
It’s about their hearts.
That in the time I’m given, that they are given, that each moment speaks affirmation.
No matter how mundane the “tool” that’s used.
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect… Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 1: 17-19,22