I am sitting writing this by our fire pit in the back yard- a little blaze going with all the yard debris we have collected over fall and winter. The ducks are quacking happily, and the warm spring sun is shining down- hopefully not turning my pasty white skin red (yes Mom I did put sunscreen on this morning).
For awhile I have engaged in a daily practice using St Ignatius’s examine, asking myself where I have felt close to God’s presence and where I have felt different. As with any practice that you do over time, I have begun to notice trends. The number of mornings when I would begin my day anxious about all of the “to-do’s” I wanted to accomplish and the amount of disappointment at the end of the day when I was not able to achieve this Herculean feat was just annoying. There is only so long you can listen to yourself complain before you recognize the need for change.
What I was experiencing is not foreign. The terms “time scarcity (or famine)” and “time affluence” were coined in the 1990’s as folks began to feel this pull on their time. Maybe more was being asked, maybe expectations were changing? Time is funny though, because unlike other variables in our lives, it is constant. Each of us have the same amount of time. The question is how do we choose to use that time. There are some very real issues with time. Some folks’ time is seen as more valuable than others. In my county minimum wage workers would have to work almost two full time jobs in order to sustain rent costs. But for many of us we have bought into notions of time that have been handed down, whether from our family systems or society at large.
While I maybe have not been able to break myself of my own feelings of time scarcity- this moment in our society has forced me to look at my life differently. In it I have found the abundance that I have always craved. Moments like this to sit and breathe. There have been more chances to connect with loved ones near and far – from a physically appropriate distance- due to technology and side walk talks. In the Psalm for today we hear the Psalmist give that most important gift of all- time- up to God
My times are in your hands- Psalm 31:15
I wonder how we are all called to live like the Psalmist and give our time to God. I wonder how our lives would open, our scarcity being transformed into abundance. Maybe in doing so we can live into Mary Oliver’s words from for poem ” The Summer Day,” allowing ourselves “to be idle and blessed… For what are we going to do with this one wild and precious life?”