Re-visiting my three words for 2012

Two months into the year and I’m not doing so good with two of the three words that I chose as my focus for 2012. “Know” has been a snap. I love learning and ideas fascinate me, so I’ve been all over this one.  But when it’s come to “be” and “still,” well that’s another story. And not a very happy one, I have to confess.

So thank you to the folks over at Duke Divinity School’s Faith & Leadership website for pointing me in the direction of Laura Vanderkam’s convicting essay on busyness. (It’s interesting that this is the second time this week that I’ve bumped into a mention of Vanderkam. I think I need to get to know this woman.)

Vanderkam’s article, which first appeared in the Wall Street Journal, asks uncomfortably pointed questions about why it is that so many North Americans are “too rushed to breathe.”  She went right for my ego by suggesting that “being ‘busy’ and ‘starved for time’ is a way to show we matter. . . It makes us feel important.” Ouch!

Fortunately, Vanderkam didn’t leave me squirming. She offers three steps for breaking free from the rat race I call life.

Keep a time log. Like tracking meals, tracking time keeps us from spending it mindlessly or lying to ourselves about what we do with it.

I’ll give this a try for a couple of weeks,
although I know in advance that I’m not going to like what I see on my log.
Of course, I’ll need to make time to keep the log, which will add to my busyness. Oh, dear, what a conundrum.

Be honest. Ask yourself what you’d like to do with your time. Claiming to be busy relieves us of the burden of choice. Set goals . . . and see where in your 168 hours you could make that happen.

Back in January, I said I’d like to “carve out time for reflection, prayer,
and listening to the Holy Spirit’s stirring in my heart.”
That’s still my desire, and with this post
I’m setting a goal of no less than a half an hour a day of being still.

Change your language.  Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. . . Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

Despite my slow start, I still choose “be,” “still,” and “know” as my theme words for 2012.  But choosing words is not the same
as changing language, so that’s my priority for the next couple of months.
Four words for four won’t add anything to my talk time.

I’ll report back again at the beginning of May. In the meantime, if you have a confession about your three words and progress to-date, feel free to post it in the comment box below. You’re in the company of sympathetic friends.

What's your take on this topic?

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