Let me know my end, Lord. How many days do I have left? I want to know how brief my time is. (Psalm 39:4 CEB
Stop wasting time. Your earthly life is finite, its end both inevitable and unpredictable. Don’t use your limited time poorly.
I get it.
You’re productive. You don’t waste your time. You’re important and always do important things.
But did you know that for all our increases in technology and efficiency, the average North American office worker has longer work hours and less time off than medieval peasant farmers? Sure, we have better medical care and the work is a less intense, but something has gone awry.
And one of those somethings is thinking the only things that are worthwhile are working and studying. And that is a damned lie and it will ruin your life. Here are some things I have discovered are not, contrary to others’ voices and the voices in my own head, in fact, wastes of time.
- Actually taking your day off off.
- Actually taking your vacation time off.
- Watching a television show that makes you think.
- Watching a television show that doesn’t make you think.
- Going to church, letting the liturgy consume you, pondering deeply the word, encountering Christ in the holy sacraments, and volunteering to wash coffee hour dishes.
- Reading novels.
- Writing a novel.
- Reading poetry.
- Writing poetry.
- Playing guitar.
- Playing piano.
- Taking a nap.
- Eating meals.
- Going for a walk.
- Lifting weights.
- Listening to music.
- Particularly sitting in a rocking chair, listening an an entire symphony, on your unnecessarily old school vinyl so it creaks and pops with the imperfections of knowing your grandparents once sat on rocking chairs and listened to this same orchestra on this very same record.
- Playing board games with those you love.
- Spending your evenings in 2017 watching 1970s television versions of a story that takes place in the 1870s with people born in 2007.
- Making art.
- Grocery shopping.
- Stopping to chat with a neighbour.
- Going on a date.
- Calling your grandmother.
- Applying for that reach school or nearly impossible grant or long-shot job.
- Going on an international impulsive road trip seeking out used books and farm fresh ice cream.
- Swinging gently in the summer breeze in a hammock by the lake.
- Antique shopping dozens of stores searching for, and not yet having found, the perfect grandmother clock for your entryway.
- Losing yourself looking into the eyes of one you love, losing all sense of time and space, becoming enveloped with a sense of connection.
- Laying in a field of wildflowers, breathing in deeply crisp mountain air, watching clouds roll by above you, contemplating the infinity of the universe and your place in it.
- Building and nurturing friendships through going out for coffee with one another or even on Facebook.
- Ethically appropriate, respectful, and consensual acts of intimacy.
- Cuddling. Your children. Your cats. Your loved one. A big soft pillow.
- Getting a PhD.
Well, I am not entirely sure about the last one.
Anyway, go forth in the peace and productivity and rest of Christ.
What else would you add?