Since when do we not have the time for the important things in life? Since when do we not even have the time to call a friend, to shoot over an encouraging email or just sit down with our friends and family without an alternative agenda? Since when did we let life take over?
I got my hair cut last night and the girl (we’ll call her Megan) who was cutting my hair talked to me about her job. She told me that one of the girls she used to work with quit because it was interfering with her personal life. Megan went on to say how ridiculous this other girl was and that in order to make a living, we have no personal life. Our jobs take over and our personal life suffers. At first, I agreed with her. It’s true. We work, work, work.. leaving less time for the important things in life. But.. the more I thought about it.. the more I was troubled by what we had discussed.
Why is it that we fill our lives with work and responsibilities so much so that we end up having less time for the things that really matter? We fill our days with so much stuff that needs to get done that we end up not enjoying and truly living life. Living life isn’t about going through the motions. I bet if you stopped right now.. you could think of at least one thing that you’d like to do today. And most likely, it’s gonna be something simple… like take your dog on a walk, send an encouraging note to a friend, take dinner to a family in need, spend some alone time with your spouse, call a friend or relative who lives far away, spend some much needed alone time in worship with God, read a book with your children.. I could go on forever. But by the time you get home tonight, life will again take over. Dinner will need to be fixed, laundry will need to be done, errands will need to be accomplished..
But why…? Why not let it wait? My mom is famous for this. ‘Why wait until tomorrow when it could get done today?’ Or.. ‘I just have so much to do that it can’t possibly wait another second.. the list keeps piling up!’ Excuses, excuses. If you cram your life with all the stuff that NEEDS to be done without having time for what you WANT to do.. what’s the point? What’s the point of living if you don’t get to enjoy it? Now, don’t get me wrong.. we all have responsibilities and we all have to go to work (well, most of us anyway).. but that shouldn’t prevent us from taking time out to enjoy the blessings in life.
Take a minute and write down your to-do list for today… your actual to-do list of the things the NEED to get done. First, look at it and see if your list is even reasonable. Can you physically get everything done today in the time you have? If not, scratch a few things off. Now, make a list of the things you WANT to d0 today. Be realistic though. A trip to Fiji can’t happen today, sorry. But, think about the things you enjoy that could be done today… like calling a friend in Texas or taking a walk with your dog or grabbing coffee/lunch/dinner with a friend/significant other or reading your morning devotion without rushing through it. Now.. take a look at both lists. Pick a few things from both lists that have higher priority… mesh those together and you now have a new to-do list.
There’s no point in living if you’re constantly getting things done and not enjoying what makes life worth living. Get a few things done and then reward yourself with something special. And yes, even take a few days to just do nothing. (Yup.. do nothing… may seem weird to all you grammar nerds out there, but I firmly believe in doing nothing.) I try and take at least one day a week to do nothing. Sure, my house may look like a wreck.. but a few months from now, that won’t matter.. but the time I spent with my friends and family…that will matter.
Don’t rush through life.. take a moment to just stop and smell the roses.