As I prepared my message for last night’s Ash Wednesday service, it forced me to reexamine how I spend my time.
It’s hard to examine something I can’t keep track of. Even our son commented on how the weeks are so short.
My days are outlined by alarms programmed into my phone: warning wake-up alarm, wake-up alarm, son’s meds, warning for the AM bus, warning for the PM bus, scheduled activities. And then there are the silent alarms in my head of preschool pick-up, spelling homework, shower time, bedtime. Somewhere between these alarms I have to fit my life.
My life is a collection of segments that I fill with a long list of wifely and parental duties, attempts at my own goals, and various distractions. It is not in my personality to schedule every minute of my day, or make exhaustive lists to check-off. I’ve tried both, but they do not work. Not with me, not with our kids.
But this life opens us up to more distractions…distractions I honestly would like to get rid of.
I face Lent with the reality that things aren’t working. That I need to get my act together and fully commit. I need to stop living a life of waiting on children to get into school, and wishing on dreams. I need to commit to accepting life as it is, working fully within it, and letting God do the rest.
Yet as I realize I need to commit, I also understand that I will once again become distracted. I will find myself moving in different directions, trying to keep up on the long lists of things I need to do, and getting lost in life itself.
Getting my act together is more than I can do at this time, as it depends on so many other things and people and events. So instead of finding the time to figure out how to reorder my life, I choose to make smaller, deliberate changes. For Lent I’m giving up iPad games and will use the time for reading in preparation for a retreat I’m speaking at this summer. At least it will be another step further on the journey of living deliberately.
Small steps. May this offering be enough.