Less than 24 hours ago, my family sat side-by-side.
We were in church. The very first pew.
Risky move with 4 boys.
It was muggy.
The windows and doors were all wide open (as church doors should be) with several small circular fans whirring and rattling around the exits. Some were white, others yellow-brown. The same color as the old fridge we had in my home growing up, with slick orange and brown buttons to boot. Relics from a bygone era, still spinning away.
Probably outlast the new ones.
They struggled to move the thick air throughout the congregation.
Children were grumpy. Squirmed about. Old-timers fidgeted. Some of the sweaty fathers were clearly anxious to leave. To get home so they could plop in the ‘ol recliner and put sportball or racing cars on the tube, even though these institutions now hate them and everything they stand for.
… or claim to stand for…
Talk is cheap.
The music – while excellent – wasn’t appreciated. You could literally feel the internal groans as the third verse of a song began, when we could have stopped after two…
My wife sat to my left, along with 3 boys. My 4th son sat alone on my right. He’s boisterous. A 5-year old with no fear. No filter. Tough as nails. We nurture his exuberance, which will serve him well as a man… but in church… he needs my attention.
The homily had started. Bits and pieces landed with me between gentle reprimands to keep the wild one in check. The dots didn’t seem to connect, but then suddenly – through all of the distractions – I heard the priest say:
“We all feel like we’re just too busy these days. Busier that we’ve ever been… busier than anyone has even been. We have all these tools and connections that are supposed to make our lives simpler… yet they don’t. Even children say they feel stressed out all the time. Just too busy to do anything.”
Isn’t it amazing that sometimes God has a way of cutting through everything, so that you hear what you’re supposed to hear?
Are we busier than we’ve ever been?
Perhaps… but even if we are…
Nobody HAS Time
This idea of “having time” is a trap we often fall into.
“I can’t complete task XYZ because I just don’t have the time.”
“I’ll learn to fish with an XYZ when I have the time.”
“I’ll start to work on my new project when I have the time.”
Look at that.
Do you lack time, or do you choose to spend the time you have on the wrong things?
Every day we make decisions regarding how we spend what time we have. We’re individuals, with different jobs, responsibilities, and countless other factors unique to our personal situation. The amount we can “spend” is different.
BUT – we are all free to make choices, and our choices have consequences.
Confirm the choices you’re making are leading you to what you want – and if they’re not – make a change.
Let’s Start Today. Right Now.
I made time for church yesterday. It’s important. After returning home, I was inspired and asked a simple question:
What else do I need to MAKE time for?
What do I need to accomplish?
Well… the first thing? Get the new electronics installed on the jon boat. (That link goes to the unit, but here’s a link to the actual setup, if you want to see it.) The last two weeks I’ve been having terrible luck fishing from shore, and keep repeating what isn’t working, expecting different results (insanity) instead of getting OUT and exploring. This year I just haven’t had the time to install the new unit.
Well… I need to make time for my wife and put some siding put back on the house that a storm knocked off. Last year.
She also needs a baby gate put up in the hall so our toddler can toddle.
We need to paint some pumpkins; they are props for the family Halloween costume she’s working on.
I need to make time to fish this week, and get ready to try a new approach. Set up new rigs with light line, plan to make long casts to go after pressured fish in clear quarry water.
I’ll be going for an ultra-natural finesse look, using…
Last week I landed a few dinks, and spotted some BIG bass… but they ignored my clunky offerings. The plan is to downsize everything. Line, weight, bait, make longer casts and try to sneak up on some spooky largemouth.
We’re not giving up. We’re going back. I’m making time for this trip. Getting up earlier. Planning now, ahead of time. Working late every night so my tasks are done well before it’s time to go.
A little extra work, a few better choices, and just like that, time has been spent on my faith, my family, and my fishing.
That’s a win.
What About You?
What’s something that matters to you – something that you have been putting off, or avoiding by wasting time on things that don’t really make your life better, or make you happy?
What’s something you KNOW you need to work on?
Spend just ONE HOUR on that thing this week.
See how it makes you feel.
See if you miss whatever you decide to lay aside so you can make the time.
(If you're not sure what you could cut, try this.)
It worked for me.
It can work for you.
It's a new behavior.
It's only the beginning.
Whatever you decide to cut, I promise you, consciously making the decision to move the needle in an area that you care about - whether it's faith, family or fishing - will make you happier. Stop with the excuses. Make deliberate decisions. Feel more accomplished. Sleep better. Know you've made use of the day - of your time - instead of wasting it on things that simply don't matter.
You'll make progress in a meaningful way.
It's right there.
Waiting for you.
All it takes is a simple choice.
So brothers... choose.
Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.