about writing and life and God

How to unscramble time

on February 8, 2013

I like my eggs scrambled. But not my week.

It takes so little to scramble a week. Throw in a Bank Holiday at the front, Christmas day in the middle, or swap Friday and Thursday. Which is what I’ve done.

For several years now, Friday has been the day I take my husband out from his care home for lunch. But the home now has a brilliant activities manager who has designed a very interesting programme of events including, on Friday afternoons, an old movie of the sort my husband enjoys. So since my time is pretty much my own and I can juggle it as I like, it seems better to have our day out on Thursday when little of interest is happening at the home, rather than on Friday when he can enjoy the film.

It works perfectly well. Except that when I woke this morning it felt like Saturday, and I have another one tomorrow! I am aware that it takes several weeks for a new habit to bed down and feel natural, so I realise I’ll need time to get used to the new regime. But it got me thinking about the pattern of the week.

The only rules we’ve really got are to take one day off and do no work in it. (I hear hollow laughter from all the Mums and carers, among others.) Apart from that, what we do each day is decreed by whatever society we live in, what job we have or don’t have, or what stage we are in our lives.

As a self-employed writer and filling-the-gaps lay preacher, it appears to be up to me to structure my week. I use a notebook with a fresh page for each day’s To Do list and anything I have to remember, meetings and so on. But usually the urgent — the pressing — the things with today’s deadline! — take precedence over the things that I know I’ll wish I had got done when I look back over the year on Hogmanay.

It’s interesting that God doesn’t dictate what we do with our days or hours. He selects one day a week for regular rest and recreation, and He pops in a few for festivals. These are the things He wants to make sure we don’t miss out on: time off, rest, celebration, worship.

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Am I missing something here? Apart from church on Sunday, none of the others turn up on my To-Do lists. I’m wondering have I got not only my week scrambled but the way I run my days?

What if I block out the time for worship first, morning devotions, evening prayers. Then how much rest is needed today? How much down-time? Block that out next. Churchill, among others, always had a one-hour nap after lunch – and he seemed to be able to get plenty done (including winning a world war).

Somehow it seems strange to plan in time for celebration but that’s what comes next. (If we looked back each day to see if there has been any cause for celebration…and if we did in fact celebrate it… I wonder would we find out why our lives can get filled up with busy-busy and the joy pushed out?)

Only then would we come to the stuff that fills our usual To-Do list. Of those things, can we distinguish what really matters? How many are we running under someone else’s whip? And how many do we feel at peace, even joyful about? Remember, Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light. If we’re overburdened, it may be that we’ve picked up stuff we don’t need.

I seem to recall that tomorrow really is Saturday so I’ve a couple of days before I really have to try to put this into practice!



6 responses to “How to unscramble time

  1. Ah yes. The rhythm of the weeks, months and years. How much better off are we who strive to live according to those rhythms and take advantage of them! Thanks for the reminder, Dorothy!

  2. This is a challenge to me as I seem to have a pretty full-on life with family, work, church, writing at the moment. Have been feeling the need to take more rest in between the busyness and am so grateful for half terms. Thank you for the reminder to slow down a little!

  3. This is so timely. I’m working on my blog which will be posted later today, God willing, and it fits in perfectly with the theme of my blog which “finding rest for your soul …”. Thank you for your challenging and encouraging blog.

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