Thursday, February 4, 2010

Time Boxes

Most of us in Western Culture have been taught from a very young age that we must put time in boxes. Our time at school is from A to B and our time at home before dinner is from C to D and homework time is X to Y. We know this because we live and die by the clock. Everything that we do in Western society (most everything) is linked to a specific time. Work starts a 9am. And since work starts at 9am if I am to workout before I get to work I must wake up at 6am. My office hours are form 9am-3pm. Meetings in the evening, dinner at 5pm. I only have a hour for this, thirty minutes for that. We chase hours around so much that we often forget to enjoy the time that we have.

The last two weeks have been extremely busy for me and I have felt like I have not been able to get all the work done that I need to get done. In fact I know that I haven't as I sit here and look at my list of things to do and I see that very little has been crossed off the list. Each day the past two weeks I have felt like I could have used more time across the board. More time in the office. More time for myself. More time to sleep. More time in the morning. More hours of daylight. More time spent on working on my internship project. Perhaps the only place that I wish I could have had less time was to have a little less time at church. Having meetings and other such reasons to come back to church each night Monday through Friday for the last two weeks (plus Sunday nights), I have felt like I'm living at the church. It's been stressful and it has been affecting my productivity.

Part of the added stress comes from a new visitation schedule that Pastor Joe has given me. I have nothing against visiting people, but it is more time that I simply feel like I don't have. So I fully intend on going on these visitations and meet with members for an hour at the most, but once I am engaged with these people I find it hard to leave, and for all the good reasons. I thoroughly enjoy talking with and meeting and knowing the members of the congregation more, but at the same takes time. It is hard to try and manage office hours, meetings, choir, confirmation, my internship project, twice daily exercises and my own personal time (which really is what often gets sacrificed) in a short 24 hour day.

But I suppose that my dilemma with time is not just my own but shared among all of people that work full time and especially among those in ministry and even more so for those that are interns as they are first learning how to deal with a life of full time ministry.

So maybe the solution is to not worry so much about putting time in boxes but to rather enjoy the time that I have. Because after all, there is only so much time before I leave this church, I leave seminary, I leave this world.