Monday, September 15, 2014

Free Time: a Common Myth

Perhaps you haven’t figured it out yet.

Maybe you still believe that days unfold and free time appears out of nowhere.

Not me.

I’ve come to the conclusion that having even a few uncommitted minutes pop up by surprise is a rare occurrence. Actually that’s happened in my life about the same number of times as seeing a double rainbow.

A number of examples of this rare phenomenon may crowd into your mind. You suddenly have enough time to relax in the middle of the day, to complete that unfinished project, to ponder an important decision uninterrupted, to commit focused time in prayer, …

Can you remember the last occasion any of that kind of opportunity surfaced for you?

I can't.

Right now I’m on a two-week retreat with my Honey. We’re not supposed to be spending too much time on the computer and internet. Well, I open my laptop just to stay in touch and all kinds of visual messages bombard me, screaming for my attention. It’s difficult to get in and out smoothly.

Besides, I’m supposed to be concentrating on drawing closer to the Lord and thereby closer to my Honey. There needs to be time set aside for reading and meditating on God’s Word, sharing together, taking walks and enjoying talks, generally unwinding. The demands of our every day life aren’t here and it may sound like lazy days, but that’s not the case. Every moment is committed.

Today I remembered my new assignment to write a post once a month for the Fellowship of Christian Bloggers. How am I supposed to do that in the midst of this special getaway? And I’m not mentioning the manuscript I was pulled away from a year ago when my Honey headed into major health issues. And forget about the hectic international move that followed six months later. And please don’t ask me if I’m settled into our home yet.

No matter where I am or how hard I try, it seems impossible to develop a firm writing schedule or to have that somehow ridiculously-expected open block of time materialize. It’s a dilemma.

What’s a writer to do?

One answer came to me as I was resting this afternoon.

I was lying there trying to catch up on the huge sleep deficit I'm carrying. Somehow I remembered my commitment. I quickly thought about the calendar and tried to figure out if I could write the post when I got home. I realized that wouldn’t work so I started asking my Abba Father for help; theme, energy, words, Scripture, TIME.

The One who loves me with endless grace and mercy began to grant me each request. I arose by His power and put my fingers on the keyboard. The walk through reality you’re reading is the fruit of His response.

Yes, setting a schedule is important.
Working diligently is crucial.
Cultivating gifts bestowed is essential.

But when all else fails, and actually as a primary step, I need to commit myself to the Creator who made me and set the path I’m to follow. Pursuing Him first and following His lead with a willing spirit is the surest way to get the words in print. Or make progress in any area.

Go now, write it on a tablet for them,
Inscribe it on a scroll
That for the days to come
It may be an everlasting witness.  Isaiah 30:8
NIV1984 (emphasis mine)

What's your experience of Free Time? 

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