Let’s get straight to the point because we don’t have much time, or should I say, I am running out of time so I’m going to be quick. Or maybe not, because time to really bask in a moment or in an activity is just as important as anything else I have planned.
If 2014 taught me anything it was that time is an important, possibly the most important, element in life. But like many other important mysteries of life we overlook in it a hurry to move on to the next task and then the next task and then the next task.
I worked my life away while I was at university. As you do. In my final year especially, in the first two weeks I got burned out. I had no time for people, I had no time for ‘church stuff’ besides the sunday service, I even quit my job becasuse I just didnt have time for it. And eating, eating became a burden, I would go the entire day, maybe even two, without eating and I would get annoyed when my stomach felt like death, because then I would have to make time to eat. This is an extreme example of course, but time and I were estranged and it was doing me little good.
The month after those first two weeks I took a perspective of life that I didn’t have before. I found that time is important for my wellbeing. So I took a break. Oh how I enjoyed my self. I got to say yes to every invitation, I ate loads, made smoothies every day, learned to bake, travelled a bit, my list goes on and on, but I am sure you get the gist. This went on for a month and then found myself way behind in my work.
I went from extremely stressed to extremely free back to extremely stressed. I knew that I would have to catch up again. But I needed a balance.
Luckily, in my time of ‘freedom’ I met a guy. We became really close, and he really taught me to chill out. To be honest I think he chilled out way too much, and he thought I never ever chilled out. So we were good together. In each other we found a balance of work time and down time.
The bible tells us that there is a time for everything in Ecclesiastic 3. There is a time for work, but work cannot be all that we do, we must have time to play. Solomon puts it, ‘what do people really get for all their hard work?” Ecclesiastes 3:9. Meaning yes you must work and work hard, but when will you reap what you have sown? When will you spend what you have earned? And not only spend it, but enjoy it? Solomon continues saying, “there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.” (V12) but of course you can’t enjoy what you have reaped if there is nothing to reap because you have sown nothing. Remember God made him the wisest man that ever lived, so surely this is some credible advice.
As Christians we are freed from the entrapments of societies demands on us. Jesus himself said ‘my purpose is to give you a rich and satisfying life’ John 10:10. It’s very unlikely that we will experience life as richly as we could if we continue to let time to pass away in chains. We are told to ‘go out into all the world and preach the gospel’, but we cannot go anywhere if we are stuck in our busy busy ‘I don’t have time’ routines. It’s important to spend time with people. Genuine time, where you sit and you listen and you let them take as long as you need. Jesus did. He would be on his way, with his own plans to pursue but someone who needed him simply had to ask that he would remain with them for a time and he would. Check out Luke 24:13-34 (particularly v 28 – 9)The Road to Emmaus.
So for 2015, and onwards make a point of having time for fun, for praying, for people, for learning, for teaching, for meditating, for helping, for working and for whatever else you find you would like to do.