Filling Time

The time has come upon me. Instead of filling time, I’m getting swept away in the season of pre-filled, stress-inducing over-scheduling. I can’t say it’s altogether a bad thing. We’re prepping for a vacation, returning to some housework, and going back to school. To my horror, the public schools around here will start August 10th! Still, it’s hard to push down regret for all those imagined times to write I missed this summer, so let’s re-imagine, if you will, in an ongoing effort to keep writing in our schedules.


I have no reliable reference for this, but it’s been ascribed to Martin Luther: we would all have plenty to do in life even if we only had a single neighbor to serve. Love is like that. It finds things to do. Opportunities abound.

Granted, neighbors are like that, too, but in reverse. People have needs and itches, annoyances and battles. There are choice words and inner debates about choosing words. And, even hermits typically have dishes and clothes to wash. Love and need appear to be boundless.

As summer comes closer to an end, there will be so many opportunities—and obligations. Sadly, no matter our productivity or focus, our time on earth will never, ever see everything done. Work keeps coming. Rest remains needed. And, those neighbors in our life are each individually capable of receiving near infinite service!

It’s intimidating. It can feel awful.

But, as God gives us these gifts and opportunities, no one thing has monopoly over our time (Except Facebook. Beware additions of technology.). These are co-existing things rather than competitive ones.

Several of our readers are returning to school themselves, teaching and “seminizing.”* But even as we gear up to shift focus in a major way, it seems to me that the nature of focus includes a need to shift.

In no way neglect your loved ones, aging relatives included, but I encourage myself and all of you to keep writing in the mix, too. Sometimes writing is just the alone time I need. Sometimes jotting down a few ideas is the lift I need before tackling a less creative project, even if it’s 5 minutes while hiding. It gets done. It builds. And, God willing, it helps me and serves others, too.

Writing is not a guilty pleasure unless you make it one.

Filling time isn’t the problem for most of us. It’s believing that we have time left to breathe. Yet we breathe anyway.

We do have time. It isn’t filled or fillable. It’s given: given time for all that God has given us. (Ok, except maybe not for Facebook, TV every night, and lots of other addictive digital escapism. ;))

I know this isn’t my most coherent of posts, but I hope you know what I mean. I’m struggling in a few areas these days, but that doesn’t mean I can’t write when I can, where I can, and as I can. 🙂 So I wish the very same for each of you.

* I think it’s funny how people noun verbs and verb nouns. I mean attending seminary.

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