The chief beauty about time// is that you cannot waste it in advance// The next year, the next day, the next hours are lying ready for you,// as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied// a single moment in all your life// You can turn over a new leaf every hour// if you choose. //Arnold Bennett//
Somehow I have misplaced a full month of writing in this place.
I could easily explain the days and weeks away by saying I didn’t have time.
Getting used to the structure of work and dealing with several bouts of lingering
illness caused me to live my days in survival mode.
But in my absence, I have been reflecting on time.
Most mornings, I jump in my car and race down the freeway towards my
place of employment.
I have determined the amount of time I need to get from point a to point b.
Yet there are days when my car’s speed is quickly halted.
My steering wheel grip tightens and I glance at the clock.
Despite my best efforts, I have no control of what the lanes ahead will reveal.
A car crash may have occurred or a stalled car.
There could be a police car in view creating a renewed desire for drivers
to adhere to the rules of the road.
Often there is no other reason than many cars traveling at the same time.
No matter how much I wish, I can’t make the traffic move quicker although I would
like to believe my whispered prayers are mighty effective when the
revolutions of my wheels increase.
Mention traffic, weather or time in conversation and there is never
a shortage of opinions or more likely rolled eyes and sighs.
All three happen without our control.
Time has felt akin to traveling in a car with varying traffic patterns.
It seems no matter how I plan, time evaporates like being thrust
into a traffic jam, unable to change directions.
I wasted a lot of time talking about how little time I now had to
do all the things usually in my days.
This constant rehearsing created unease in my mind and in
Mondays began with the renewed awareness of another week with
no time to spare.
This mindset was completely life draining and joy emptying
because I was consumed with my lack of resources.
Especially because I really like my job and the people I am
blessed to work with.
My days and time have simply been rearranged.
Then one morning, everything shifted as I was driving along.
I slammed on the brakes and the glare of red tail lights lit
up as far as I could see.
I didn’t sigh.
I didn’t look hurriedly at my clock.
I simply let my car idle
knowing it wouldn’t be motionless forever.
Forward movement resumed and I arrived
to my desk on time.
Week by week, I am learning a new groove.
15 minutes of book reading in the evening can be just
as satisfying as an hour.
Not having a week’s worth of meals planned
is not a crisis.
I begun to play around with how to have meaningful
devotions in the morning.
This had been the area which created the deepest
feelings of mourning.
I had felt very lonesome for time with my Father.
But slowly a rhythm has emerged and it has satisfied my longings.
Perhaps this week there will be a space for exercise.
And maybe my body clock will eventually awake earlier…maybe.
Hopefully the confetti thoughts wafting around my brain
will find their way to a journal or this blog from time to time.
You see a groove is not as deep as a rut.
A groove is the beginning of a pattern, a routine.
A rut is defined as a track worn by a wheel or by habitual passage.
A rut equals the deepening of a groove.
With every trip down the road, my groove
will gain depth and more familiarity.
Time may have changed dimensions but
doesn’t mean forfeited joy.
So what do you hear yourself rehearsing each week?
Is it something you fear is in short supply and has no
prospect of recovery?
Perhaps it’s time to cease clenching your
fists as you attempt to hold something you were
never designed to control.
Open wide your hands,
and your mind
and revel in how you can
best use what remains.
Take a deep breath
and let your car idle
until a new path
opens before you.
Then my friends,
travel the road
and great joy
as you create deep