With great regularity, I hear people—even myself—talking about how busy they are. They are stretched a bit too thin, needing to “make time” to get everything finished. It is interesting to talk about “making time” since we can’t really add any. In truth, we don’t really make time as much as we “borrow time”—another rather odd phrase. Really we only have a certain amount of time in a day, a week, a year, or even our lives. We can “use that time” for only so many things.
Last week, I met with my Spiritual Director, Sister Mary Colleen from Benet Hill Monastery. In talking with her, I committed to some significant life changes I have been pondering for a while. For the duration of my life as a pastor, I have sought out opportunities to challenge myself. Coming to be the pastor of this church was one such challenge. Leading General Conference worship was another, and accepting the role of President of the MCC Board of Pensions was yet another. All of my “yes’s” to these opportunities have made me a well-known and respected leader in MCC. What they also did is make me an over-committed and very busy—too busy—pastor. Some of you know this feeling well.
In reality, the only way we can “make time” is by saying “no” to some good things even while we say “yes” to other good things. Life is about balance, and I have realized mine is, in fact, out of balance. So, I now look forward to next July’s General Conference for a new reason: when it ends and I’m no longer responsible for planning worship for our denomination’s largest gathering in six years (no pressure), I will have an opportunity to remove one large commitment from my life, “making time” for me to be a better example, partner, friend, & pastor.
While this rebalancing of my life is still several months away, somehow even knowing that it will happen is almost as good as it actually happening. I could rebalance now by quitting, but I want to rebalance my life in ways that are responsible to the commitments I have already made.
How is your life balance right now? Do you need to identify some things that you can do to “make time” for family, for friendships, or time to be able to listen for the voice of God? It is not easy, and as AA teaches us, it starts only when you recognize and commit to the needed change.