Time to Be Present
It’s more valuable than money, you know.
There never seems to be enough of it to do all the things that need to be done.
I can’t seem to find a way to balance it between the things I have to do, the things I need to do, and the things I want to do.
I’m not killing it; it’s killing me.
Slower than molasses when I need supersonic speed, and faster than a speeding bullet when I want to hold on for just a while longer.
Something I recognize as valuable, and yet don’t always do a very good job investing and protecting.
No better time than the present, and time is the best present.
Today’s prompt is about our most energized time of the day, but that’s not where my mind is going today, so I’ve decided to go with my mind.
Time is on my mind today.
I had a phone call yesterday to ask me to serve on a committee. It is customary for the individual in my position to hold a seat on this committee. Since it’s the first year I’ve been in the position the committee chair called to tell me and verify that I would take the seat.
“Sure, I will. Oh! Wait! What exactly am I committing myself to? I mean, how much of a time commitment are we talking?”
Yep, that’s exactly how I responded.
See, I like to serve. I like to volunteer. I like to be in know. It was absolutely natural for me to just say, “Sure!”
As soon as the word left my mouth though, I was already thinking about my prior decisions to stop saying yes to everything just because.
See, last spring I got really stressed out over a lot of things combined. Nothing was actually wrong, just too many things going on at once.
I was teaching (and it was almost standardized test time) in a public school, coaching varsity softball as head coach for the first year, teaching the high school/college Sunday school class at church, serving as Youth Director in the midst of youth trips, serving as Associational VBS Director, serving as our church VBS Director, serving on a SERTA (MSTA) committee, applying for administration positions for the next school year, and then in the midst of all that I had to miss my oldest child’s high school registration because I was either being a coach or teacher that night.
And I started realizing how little time I had left with my own kids. Add to that the incredible levels of stress over having to draw a line between the me that showed up at church and the me that showed up at school…I was never the same person…it was confusing to me, it was confusing to students, and it was tearing me up from the inside out. Add to that my dreams about serving in full-time ministry…missions…some kind of huge amazing work for God, and I realized that I didn’t have time to do amazing things for God because I was too busy being busy.
All these Christian people around me were starting ministries, going on amazing mission trips, adopting kids, stepping out in faith, and all I was doing was getting stressed out, gray hairs, and more and more frazzled by the minute.
All the sudden I realized just how much my minutes counted.
So I quit.
Everything except my paying job (& my VBS responsibilities. They’re short-lived.).
I took a break, a breather, a time-out.
I recognized the fact that busyness had taken over my life. I decided I was going to spend more time with my family doing family things. More time doing effective personal ministry work. More time living my life instead of running from one meeting or responsibility to the next all the time.
It’s almost a year since I made those changes. Since I reclaimed all of my time.
Guess what I’ve done with all that time?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I’ve read a little more. I’ve, recently, taken the time to do some of the writing I’ve claimed I want to do, but other than that I’ve done nothing.
The truth is I crave busyness because I need the structure.
I want to do the things I mentioned about. But I don’t want to do them alone. I want to do them with someone. And doing them with someone requires THEIR time.
That’s what I’ve come to realize lately. The biggest gift someone can give another human is their time.
Give me your undivided attention. Share a task with me. Talk with me. Not to me, not at me, but with me. That takes time, and no interruptions or disruptions.
Time is limited. We do not know how much we are allotted. It is up to us to make to absolute most out of each moment. I do not believe God desires for us to waste our moments, but to sweetly anticipate each moment and live it to the fullest.
For me, that means sifting through the busyness to find true meaning in the moments I say “Sure I will!” too. It means being present without the distraction of music, tv, or social media when I’m spending time with my family. It means making my time on this earth count instead of simply counting my time here on this earth.