Time Well Spent

It’s time for an honesty update. People on the sidewalk say in passing, “How are you?” and my response is, “Eh, huh, dah, um, yep.” I know inherently that I don’t have enough time to answer the question and cannot formulate a quick response. I understand now that minimalism is not easy.

For every thought, there are ten different emotions, which spur other thoughts and other emotions. When I put my life on hold, like I did today, and evaluate, I can trim down my emotional thoughts to one: I am not God.

Duh.

But I live as though I am. My senior year of college, I agreed to be in every production on campus. I skipped meals, hardly slept, drank lots of coffee, and cried a lot. But I did everything I “needed” to do. Last year, I was in control; I had it together, oh the mysterious it. I thought since last year was supposed to be the hardest semester of grad school that the worst was behind me and that this semester I could add more goals to my life: cook one new recipe every week, celebrate fall every day, read a new book every month, minimize daily, lose weight, make moments, sleep. And what I have is a planner so crowded with to-do lists that I’m already spilling into October before September has waved goodbye. On Friday I did my Thursday’s work. On Saturday I did some of my Friday’s work. Today I did all the work.

I like my classes fairly well; granted, I’m not as excited about them this year as last. I love the play I’m assistant directing (and I love working with the director). I love getting to know my students, drinking coffee with them on a Wednesday morning, going on a museum tour with them, holding interviews with them, emailing those I know are struggling with adjusting to the college rigor. But as I fill up my time with coffee at 8, tour at 9, class meeting at 10, work at 11, lunch at 12, work at 1, class at 2, work at 3, class at 4, supper at 5, rehearsal from 6 till 10, homework until I can’t stay awake, get up and do it all again . . . I find that I really have no time for anyone but myself. I can’t listen to my coffee date because I’m too busy thinking about how I have homework more pressing than this conversation about sports injuries. While I’m on the art tour, I’m thinking about the man who had better show up to fix my computer that crashed yesterday. During my class meeting I’m multi-tasking to answer my students’ questions about homework and schedules. I’m frustrated during my work hours because my office is noisy, and I can’t concentrate. I am listless and uninterested during class because I want to go DO something productive. I have no patience during rehearsal for designers who think they need my opinion to do their job. And I have no patience with myself because I know that I should be loving and kind and patient. I should be enjoying the time God has given me. I should be able to handle the pressure without killing someone. I should be in control.

Wrong!

I should not be in control. And isn’t the world glad I’m not?

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It’s not wrong to tell someone that you don’t have time. It’s not wrong to fail someone’s expectations if you are meeting God’s. It’s not wrong to put God’s plans first. Wouldn’t it be a tragedy to neglect God and fulfill every other obligation? I may not have time to hold everyone’s hand or finish my homework on time or answer emails promptly, but if I’m spending time with God and meditating on His Word and giving Him my fears and desires, then my time is well spent.

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