Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Discernment: the role of how we use our time

Discernment and Time:  How often do you say to yourself or to you hear someone else say “I don’t have time. I’m too busy. I can’t take on another thing!”  We may begin our day rushing to get in a breakfast before running  off to work or school.  On our lunch break we may make a mad dash off to the post office or even squeeze in shopping for an overdue birthday card.  As we head home from work, we may make a quick stop at Kwik Trip to pick up some last minutes items for the evening meal.  As as quickly put together our evening dinner, we may simultaneously do our laundry.  Or, which is just as likely, we grab something to eat on the run  as we are off to an evening meeting or to drop the children off at dance school, gymnastics or practice for a little league game. 

What’s happening? Why are we living such hectic lifestyles?  Why are we so busy that we hardly have time to breathe, much less smell the flowers. What happens when suddenly we have nothing to do, an illness slows us down, or we’re taken out of commission for awhile? How do we cope?

Operating at full speed, being super busy all of the time, may make us feel important but it does not enable us to live a reflective life. As long as we engage life only on the superficial level of accomplishing this task and another and another and another, we are in danger of building our “houses” on sand with “no basement,” no depth. 

Any wonder why a person spends the majority of his/her life doing, not what he/she really wants to do but what he/she believes others want him/her to do or  to be?  Can you imagine what would happen if you did stop running and decided to “waste” time?

Any possibility that busyness is an avoidance of the important questions? Of facing yourself?  How do you react when a weekend is unplanned, when you anticipate having nothing to do? What do you do then? What if you set time aside to think, not do? To just be? To have time and space when you are not demanding that you are producing something considered worthwhile by societal standards and allowed yourself to do nothing or to do what you want to do not what others want you to do?

Maybe then discernment of what is important and is truly  meaningful to you would be possible!

Source: Compare Margaret O'Brien, OSU, Discovering Your Light: Common Journeys of Young Adults,Resurrection Press, Mineola, New York 1991, pp. 14-15.

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