I signed a contract for another year beginning August 1, but this year at 3/4 time (my choice). However, I’m trying to figure out how to work 3/4 time when I’ve already developed full-time habits.
There is always ministry to be done. In fact, it didn’t always get done to my satisfaction even at full-time. So, what to do?
Easy to set a schedule; hard to stick to it. Fewer hours per day? One less day per week? One less week per month? Pros and cons to each of them. Conjure up another 1/4 time job, even if it’s voluntary?
Conscious of this, I think I’ll start with an online timer to see how much time is really spent. It reminds me of budgeting for a low income–keeping track of every penny helped me figure out where the money was going and also made me more conscious of every dollar I spent.
If you have good tips, let me know. Meanwhile, there’s a movie to see this afternoon!
view from my apartment
It was a pleasant evening in the gazebo (seen in the background). There were birds of many kinds chirping, calling, chattering; kids shouting, crying, running; adults moving here and there through the courtyard, talking amongst themselves or with their children.
One small boy was riding his little bicycle with training wheels. He was having a wonderful time; he was working very hard at it. His mother walked beside him, a hand on his shoulder.
Though I took a nice picture of the boy, a bench, and the wrought iron from inside the gazebo, it failed to upload! Just a memory now. So the general picture above will have to do, along with your imagination. Where did you learn to ride a bike? a trike? a scooter?
Moments go by so quickly. Children grow in size and all of us grow in spirit, if we are so blessed. Take some time. It is your time.
The time you spend noticing a particular moment will be like adding a drop of beauty into your being. Repeat. You will become more grounded and better able to face the challenges of your day. Let love enter your heart and spill into the world. The world so needs you.
The circle of life has brought us to a new calendar year that serves as a silent reminder of the passage of time. It comes one week after the longest and most elaborate cultural and religious holiday of the year. A natural pause after that frenetic season lends itself to reflection on another yearly journey around the sun.
Let light shine through the window into your self
and from you onto the world.
There is an underlying rhythm to a year that includes seasonal flows, recurring cycles, and ordinary days. A semester in school has a flow of preparation, instruction, study, and final exams. Recurring cycles include birthday celebrations, graduations, and anniversaries; they include the grief of layoffs, divorce, illness and death. It is important to celebrate well and to grieve well, but not to expect them to balance one another.
Most of the year fills with ordinary plans and projects while constantly weighing priorities. When someone asks, “How are you?” the most common answer is “Busy.” There is a long list of things to do, but I have seen plenty of idle time, too. A quick nap has become more acceptable so that we can then get busy again.
From time to time the world intrudes in unexpected yet predictable ways. Ordinary days are sometimes interrupted by news of natural disasters, public shootings, political battles, warfare. On the positive side are acts of courage that go with every tragedy.
Let’s turn a new page, shall we? We have seen the best and worst of society. We can live our ordinary days with their special rhyme and reason. But add this to your list: Reflect on your one brief life. Then find some courage to change something for the better. A “busy” life needs to mean something to yourself, to your loved ones, and to the world.
Kairos has found me at last in this time, this space, this moment of reflection. Cool morning, warm sun streaming through my favorite window.
Having moved non-stop it seems from holidays, son’s wedding, conference, sister-time, ministers’ retreat (with work to fill “spare time”), pastoral care, a couple of sermons squeezed in, meetings, plans, and more, means that personal time has been limited at best. Not a half day off with no work that had to be done, to the point that it did not qualify as true rest–just another thing to wedge between A & B and on toward Z. I have not had/blocked out enough time to give my soul a chance to catch up.
So I pause without agenda–except to let everything go–for the next few hours. Let this sunshine recharge my weakened batteries for a spell. The battery warning light was not glowing orange but red. Reserves have been tapped frequently to get through specific tasks or responsibilities only to leave me depleted at the end. Complete a task–barely–and move on before taking time to sweep my spirit clean. Float free like wind and water.
So let my spirit clear up with these blue skies after a gray day; let this breeze flow through me; let this poem speak to my heart; let this walk bring me down to earth; let this music dance for me until I can dance, too.