How often in your daily conversations do you use the words time or busy? When you use them, what are the phrases they are included in? Take a moment to write down a phrase that you often use that includes either the word time or busy.
As I was thinking about when I use these words, I discovered some helpful insights from Barbara Brown Taylor in her book, An Altar in the World. She writes, "The great Swiss theologian Karl Barth wrote, 'A being is free only when it can determine and limit its activity.' By that definition, I have a hard time counting many free beings among my acquaintance. I know people who can do five things at once who are incapable of doing nothing. I know people who can decide what to do without being able to do less of it. Since I have been one of those people, I know that saying no is a more difficult spiritual practice than tithing, praying on a cold stone floor, or visiting a prisoner on death row."
Do you think that our culture talks about time in a way that encourages us to be more frantic? Are there terms we need to let go of so we can think about time in a more gracious way?
Take a moment to watch this brief video. In it, you will find some questions and thoughts that may provide some guidance about how to revise the way we use the words busy and time.
As you continue to consider how you might use these words differently, listen to the words of the Psalmist,
"Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:1-2, 4, 12)
Prayer for Today
Creator God, you are the Maker of everything that exists, the Author of the world of nature and of all living things. You are the Creator of both space and time. Without you there would be no past, present or future; no summer or winter, spring or autumn, seed-time or harvest; no morning or evening, months or years. Because you give us the gift of time we have the opportunity to think and to act, to plan and to pray, to give and to receive, to create and to relate, to work and to rest, to strive and to play, to love and to worship. In Christ's Name, Amen.