Sunday, August 24, 2014
Yearning For Relational Strength And Balance In A Culture That Casts Us Apart
Make Time, Take Time For Each Other
Twenty four hours. This is an unchanging, unbending, unrecoverable daily allotment of time given to each of us as we awaken each day, and its expenditure is fully at the mercy of our choice-making. Certain activities need to consume certain amounts of our time; eating, sleeping, attending school or going to work, walking the dog, brushing teeth, filling the car with gas, and so on, but there remains a good deal of negotiable time available for extraneous choices. How do you choose? Or is it easier not to choose, not to be deliberate, and instead allow the minutes and hours to fritter away, unapologetically in the daily complacency of extreme over-stimulation due to bombardment of busy-ness, infiltration of obsessive amounts of technology, and infinite choices? So we throw on our headphones and retreat to our screens where there is peace in isolation albeit unstoppable loneliness. As a teacher, I hear a great deal about screen time as the time choice of choice. My concern is that our children, our students, and we ourselves are abandoning our desperate longing for connection, relationship, and community in exchange for something much, much less. We are too tired for the effort of connection, for it does require a sacrificial exertion of self to become engaged in any relational process. And although we need it more than anything, we run from it because it demands and life simply already demands too much all day long. Twenty four hours. It’s the same twenty four hours that our parents, and their parents, and generations upon generations upon generations of parents have had, because it never changes. The problem is, I am not sure that we are getting this right. We hurry and scurry frenetically filling our minutes and hours with all they can possibly contain and then a bit more only to find ourselves in a puddle of ill-tempered exhaustion at the end of the day, preparing to buck up for tomorrow’s agenda of the same merry-go-round ride. Jumping off the merry-go-round to enjoy a good book with your children in the shade of a backyard tree seems somehow robbed of its peace and pleasure by the burdensome guilt of jumping off what everyone else is managing to stay on. Somehow I know that we know the error of our ways with regards to our time and our choices, yet we remain willingly paralyzed and incompetent in our truthful effort to seek relational strength and balance with our time. Our twenty four hours are, ever so graciously, new every day and in honor of this gift we must choose to be deliberate and teach our little ones to be deliberate, investing wisely in each other and experiencing the subsequent contentment. We desperately need to make time and take time for each other because we are wired to live connected to one another. We need each other.