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Time for a Change

Matthew Harrison

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sigh. It’s so easy to be distracted, isn’t it? Sometimes we sit in front of the television, flipping through channels (stopping at Salt + Light, of course!). Sometimes we sit in front of the computer surfing the net mindlessly... and it seems that’s the position I find myself in right now. I had intended to go to bed two hours ago. Instead I was distracted by looking up video clips on the internet from the Letterman show.
Why do I do these things??
I could be sleeping. I could be reading. I could be praying. I could be typing a blog entry (well actually...). I could even be ironing my shirts!
But no! I spend my time hunched over my computer, not looking for anything in particular, and becoming increasingly tired, but still pushing onward to see things that I will have forgotten in a couple of days. Things that may offer a moment of amusement, which will make no sense to anyone who I try to explain it to tomorrow.
But isn’t this often the case? We get distracted from things we should be doing. Or we spend our time doing things that aren’t really of profit to us. People should be able to take some time every so often to unplug and enjoy some mindless relaxation, but I think too often today we make more of an effort to be distracted than to be focussed. I'm not a techno-phobe, but I sometimes wonder if it’s because in a world saturated in technology we actually have difficulty focussing. Our wireless internet, our iPods, our hands-free cell phones, and everything in between, are constantly bombarding our senses. It’s as if we suffer sensory overload and can no longer function, so we opt to passively sit on the couch watching weather forecasts for hours. Or sit in front of the computer surfing for Letterman clips.
As Lent quickly approaches – in less than one week – perhaps we should start considering how we use our time.
How do I use my time at home? Do I ignore my household responsibilities, my spouse, or my children? How do I use my time at work? Do I spent more time chatting over cups of coffee than I do working at my desk? And if I am misusing my time, how does it affect those around me? Do I set a poor example for my children? Do I distract co-workers?
Maybe you will find areas where your time is misspent; time that you could use to be more productive at work, to spend with your family, to volunteer at a charitable organization, or to spend in prayer, drawing closer to our Lord particularly in the season of Lent.
And if I do use my time surfing on the net, watching TV, or cutting myself off from others in my own iPod world, maybe I should consider Lent a time to detach myself from these things. Perhaps I will limit myself to 30 minutes of internet per evening. Maybe I’ll only watch TV on the weekends. And the iPod... well, only on the commute to and from work.
Time is one of the most valuable things we have. Take some time to consider it. Bleary-eyed and exhuasted tomorrow, I know I will.

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