Slowly throughout life, as simple pleasures are taken away, you realize how spoiled you used to be and become aware of the fact that you probably still are. It’s a difficult position to be in and to adapt to.
I have become increasingly aware of this in my own life the longer my days become, the weaker my body grows, and the feebler my spirit gets. I wake up at 6am to prepare for the day (showering, breakfast, making lunch, etc.) and do not return home again until after 9pm. Simple math will tell you I spend (on any given weekday) 15 hours engaged in work related behaviors, 14 of which is located outside my home.
That much time leaves me with approximately 9-10 hours of non-work related time. Of that time 7-8 hours are spent sleeping (hopefully!). Leaving me with a grand total of 1-3 hours (more often 1 than 3) of “free time.” I use quotation marks because during that time there are certain things that must be taken care of. Things like calling repairmen, grocery shopping, interacting with the neighbors, trying to keep up on the news, talking with friends and family back home, doing homework (yes I still have homework), relaxing, and finding time to blog about all the experiences (of course!).
The difficulty I’m finding is doing all of these things AND maintaining the rigor with which I once studied topics of faith and religion. I found great pleasure in reading scripture (both Christian and other) as well as books on the topic. Being a student for the last 19 years of my life I took for granted all of the free time and brain power which I could devote to spiritual matters. Now I am so engulfed in a new schedule that I have a fraction of the time I used to for such endeavors, and even with that time my brain is too fried to attempt it. I would rather make a phone call, peruse the headlines, or simply listen to music laying in bed (well, cot actually; but that’s besides the point).
Here is where the point becomes clear. In the past when I have had extended periods of time lacking spiritual development I had felt a disconnect from God and from others. Now I do not. When I had been given time to increase my understanding of the gospel and neglected to do so I began to feel depressed and hopeless. I was literally throwing away, what now I would consider a great gift. It begs the question, “What am I NOW throwing away, that I might consider a great gift in the future?” But that is for another post.
At this moment, I am becoming acclimated to the amount of “living water” being poured into me (John 4), and it is enough. I’m finding God, not in the prescribed labels of Christianity, but in the daily living of doing my best as if it were for the growth of the Kingdom. The importance in flat-out being Christlike to those around you vs. committing yourself to such-and-such time for prayer per day is an emphasis for me, right now.
My hope is that as I grow more accustomed to my daily schedule I will begin to find new places to fit in time for spiritual development, for without designated times for study, prayer, and meditation I may lose focus on who Christ is; however I am comforted and encouraged by the words of Sir Jacob Astley, “O Lord, thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget Thee, do not forget me.”
I am grateful for whatever time I am given, especially considering that God WON’T forget me (Isaiah 49:15).