With the past weekend and it's extra hour behind me, it feels fitting to write about time today... specifically, about how I spend my time. How we spend our time.
It seems our culture is one where time gets away from us... where we wonder 'where the time went' or complain that we 'don't have time.'
People around the world all have the same amount of time.
One of my favorite things about being in Sierra Leone is the difference in the perception of time. In the States, we value efficiency to a fault. How much can I get done in as little time as possible? In Sierra Leone, they value relationships. So what I accomplish there takes second place to who I've been with... the conversations I've had... the love I've shown.
I can't begin to say I've brought that value home and implemented it perfectly into my life here. But I can say I'm learning. Learning to rest. Learning to value peace and calm. Learning to let my priorities revolve around relationships instead of productivity. Choosing to be in the moment, even if in the back of my head the 'next thing' is threatening to distract me, I'm getting better at pushing it aside to give full weight to the moment and the people I'm with.
I'm also challenged to consider how to still accomplish the things I need to accomplish - lately, it's been TONS of extra work at home prepping and training for three new job responsibilities I'm taking on - while still being present with people and investing in relationships.
It's something I'm working on... this concerted effort to connect with people. I have, for years, used my introversion as an excuse to stay secluded. But there is a gentle prodding to push myself outside myself a bit... to invite people in... to love the ones I'm blessed to know in a more proactive way. In the long run, the people I spend time with are much more important than the checklist I have in my head or the projects I think I should tackle.
I don't pretend to have this figured out. But I do believe I'm on a journey where God is stretching my heart... and I'm learning to view time differently... to be patient with myself and with the people around me and try to honor each day - each moment.
I'm thankful for the place I'm in. Thankful to still be learning. Thankful for the peace I have knowing there is grace for all the stupid ways I'm inclined to spend my time - and grateful for the blessing when I know I've spent it wisely and lovingly.
I'm inspired by the way Jesus spent his time. Reading the gospels lately has been SO good for my soul... to reflect on how generous and giving Jesus was with his time... and how careful he was to still care for himself and those closest to him. What an amazing role model. He had the same 24 hours a day that I do...
How can I best spend my time? It's what's on my heart...