Monday, August 16, 2010


A poem of Solomon...and a song by the Beatles....

There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything in the earth.
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

 I was reminded of this poem from Ecclesiastes today because I felt bound by time. I had X amount of hours today to do more than my allotted amount of X was offering me. I have a list, you see, of things that I have deemed important and that I absolutely need to get done. If I don't do the things on said list I just don't know what might happen. It could be catastrophic, or so I believe. As I was laying in my bed trying to use my allotted seconds for sleep in a productive manner I could not stop thinking about time and how in the grander scheme of things why I have put so much pressure on myself to use my time to be a human doing rather than a human being. Nowhere in Solomon's musings are the "to-do" list types of things. Solomon's list is rather like a "to-be" list. He describes time as more of an intense experience to be shared and felt with others.

I tend to focus a lot of my time on the tasks that will never really cease needing attention. I don't think this is necessarily wrong it just does not lend itself to me feeling like I'm actually getting anywhere. (I think this might actually be the definition that is found beside the word insanity.) Sometimes I feel like I am wasting this precious life on things that really don't matter, which leads me to question what really does matter. My kids. My husband. My family. My neighbors. My community. People and how I treat them...that's what matters.

Sometimes I picture God just watching us go from here to there and do silly things... like going to meetings that really don't accomplish much or dusting a knick-knack for the hundredth time or checking another thing off the to-do list or playing solitaire...ALONE. He must be just shaking His head in wonderment at how we use our time. We seem to think that our time is indefinite and unquantifiable (if that is a word!!). Two of my favorite philosophers of all time, Bill and Ted, have most excellently summed up the brevity of our time in this quote, "All we are is dust in the wind, Dude." Dust. Wind. Dude.

I'm not exactly sure how to fix our time dilemma. But I think I want to have a to-be list on the same page as my to-do list. I think it might remind me to have a little more perspective on how I use my dust.

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