St Peter's 13-18
In the course of a normal School week, most of us will get used to the idea that much of our time is allocated to something productive. There are usually little bits of our time that are under our own control and which we can choose to spend as we wish but the majority of our time will be called on by other people and the only choice that we really get to make is how positively we approach the activity or task that those moments have been allotted to.
One of the consequences of being at home at the moment is that each of us will have bits of unallocated time that are different from those that we normally get. As I have watched the Twitter and Facebook feeds, I have been endlessly impressed with what people are doing with this unexpected gift. People have been composing and baking, painting and practicing keepy-uppies among other things. I wonder what you’re doing at the moment to keep yourself mentally and physically active in those bits of otherwise unallocated time.
On a shelf at home, I have three juggling balls. I bought them some years ago in the hope that I would discover a previously unrealised natural talent. I didn’t. So they now sit on a shelf as a reminder of two different things.
The first is that every skill takes the investment of time to develop. I have chosen to spend my time on things other than juggling and so it’s something I will probably never be able to do well. The choices that we take over how we spend our time are important because they shape us as people. We are what we repeatedly do, as Aristotle once put it.
Second, the way that we use our time can in itself feel like juggling. There so many things that we could do, so many different calls on our time at any one moment, that it’s sometimes difficult to see which ball to focus on right now, to panic and drop them all!
Jesus told a story of a rich man who gathered all his produce into barns and then sat back, congratulated his own success and then failed to use what he had stored up, even by the end of his own life. Part of the truth of Jesus’ story is that each of us has a limited amount of time. When spending our time, there are some choices that are open to us and some that are not but we can’t avoid choosing.
At the moment, we each face a different set of choices over how to use our time than that which we are used to. My prayer for you today is that you will choose to spend your time well: in a way that brings you joy and joy to those around you.