I’m reading a compelling book called, “The Right to Write” by Julia Cameron. In it she speaks about “stolen moments;” those precious minutes we writers need to steal from the demands of our daily life to “find time” to write.
Her underlying point is that, if you string together enough of these stolen moments, they stop being “moments,” and instead become a “habit.”
Just like going to the gym, if you force it into your schedule for long enough, it becomes something that pushes those other things aside. It become a fixture, a compulsion, a thing you chose to do instead of all those “other things.”
The same goes for people. If someTHING is important, you make time for it. If someONE is important, you make time for them.
You know, I can call myself a “photographer,” say that I’m really into photography, but if I never make time to go shoot some pictures…is it really true? Am I really a photographer if I never take photographs? Am I really a writer if I never write? A sculptor if I never sculpt?
What am I then?
I am a computer gamer. I am an Internet surfer. I am an Instagramer. A Facebooker.
So, the first and foremost thing to do, at anything, is to show up and put. in. the. time. Stop making excuses. Stop letting less important things become more important.
I guess it’s a fairly inescapable conclusion, then, that the same must be true of relationships. You have to show up… you have to put. in. the. work.
If I tell people that I’m a gardener, but my yard is choked with weeds, dead plants, and crabgrass, then their response will likely be, “well, by the looks of things, you’re not a very good one.”
The Bible says that, “by their fruits will you know them.” (Matt. 16:20)
Again, if I claim to be that photographer, but have no portfolio, have no evidence of my work, then my claim rings a little hollow, doesn’t it?
And so, if I claim that someONE is important to me, by what “fruit” should I then be known? What is my portfolio? What is the evidence of this care as it is manifested in my life?
Do I make time for them? Do I stop letting less important things become more important than this person I say I love?
A true photographer, an artist, a singer, a craftsman invests time in their craft. Time, energy, money, enthusiasm. Passion. Their day feels empty without it. If you are passionate about something (or someone) you notice the absence, you miss it, you crave it. Without the daily trip to the gym or yoga studio, your whole day feels off. Without taking the time to press that shutter button a few times, or get a page or two down on the next novel or blog post, you feel like things have been left undone. It’s more than just a casual interest…it’s a genuine desire.
For things you like, you’ll try and find the time.
For things you love, for things about which you are passionate, you MAKE the time!
So. More and more each day, I am asking myself, “am I MAKING TIME for the right things?”
If someone looked into my life, what would they say I was passionate about? Laundry? Dishes? TV Shows? Computer games?
Or my children? My friends? My relationship with God? My own health and well being?
Again, in Luke 12:34, Jesus reminds us and admonishes us, “For wherever your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” When you truly treasure something (or someone), you give it your whole heart…not just whatever leftovers you can spare!
With this in mind, I have given myself a new challenge: to look more closely — every day and in every way — at where I am spending my time and my treasure. Am I giving my heart, my soul and my precious reserves of time and energy to the right things? The right people?
Or am I wasting what few precious hours I have on this earth on things that don’t really matter?
Only time…will tell.