“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” (Gandalf the Grey)
I've heard the adage "less is more" many times over the years. For the first time in my life, though, I'm starting to live it out intentionally. It's been a delicate process of pruning obligations and redefining priorities.
I said no to an interesting opportunity to teach a new one-credit seminar, knowing that my schedule would already be amply full with the four classes I had been assigned to teach. I didn't suggest other activities when my daughters opted to take the fall season off from soccer. I'm guarding my afternoons, which were opened for the first time in ten years when my youngest went to school last week, and avoiding the temptation to fill the time with more. (After all, once my students start submitting essays and giving speeches, those hours will fill quickly enough.)
Oddly enough, it requires discipline to pursue less. I'm being more careful with my yes's, knowing that each comes with a cost of time or resources. I'm learning to be honest with my no's, understanding that I'm inevitably going to disappoint some people, and given this, I probably should be discerning about who I choose to disappoint.
I pray in alignment with Psalm 90: "Teach us to number our days so we might gain a heart of wisdom." My days on this earth are finite, and I want to spend this one wonderful life pursuing God's heart and plans instead of growing numb and weary from frenetically racing after my own pursuits.
We've all been given time. All we have to do is decide what to do with it.