What would it be like without watches, clocks, schedules, timetables, deadlines, planners, alarm reminders?

Today is Parent/Teacher Conferences at the middle school where I teach, and I am confined to a chair for seven hours of drop-in meetings. My “tushy,” as my Jewish grandmother would say, is sore and tingling . . . almost numb from the lack of aerobic movement these past many hours. If I was a computer screen, the screen saver would have taken over long ago and put my system to sleep.

As it is, however, I have a bit of extra time on my hands in between conversations. I’ve attempted to work on grad school assignments. Motivation lacking. I’ve attempted to grade student projects. Failed at that endeavor. Instead, I have chosen to reward myself and contemplate a question that I often wrestle with, namely “How should I balance my time between the things that I desire to do and the things that I ought to do, the relationships that I currently enjoy and the relationships that I need to invest more effort, the pursuit of fulfilling activities and the accomplishments of errands and to-dos?”

Immediately before taking my assigned seat at my assigned table for the assigned hours of back-and-forth responsible dialogue, I escaped outside to jog a couple of miles and work out my pre-conference jitters and lethargy. It was on this jog that I began to ponder what it would be like to not be worried about time and time limits and time constraints and inadequate time. I had left my phone (with its digital clock) in my classroom and was able to simply enjoy worship music and the brilliant fall leaves crunching beneath my tennis shoes. The time without time constraints was worth the extra layer of deodorant and body spray needed before conferences.

Recently, I caught myself wishing for extra hours in the day. However, I then quickly corrected myself. Why would I want more hours in which to fill with busy activities and hecticness? Why not just be content that God knew we could only handle 24 hours in a day?

I don’t know how to maintain a balanced lifestyle. I am a work in progress. I would like to give myself a deadline. “By next week, Lauren, you better have this “time” thing down.” However, I think that perspective might defeat the purpose. I am a work in progress for an indeterminate period of time. As God gives me strength and wisdom, I pray that I continually move forward, pressing toward the goal of the higher calling of Christ.

As I pondered time and the autumn foliage outside the middle school campus, I listened to the song “Better is One Day.” Truly, if we weren’t concerned with time, then how would we view the verse, “Better is one day in Your courts than thousands elsewhere”? Let’s revel in some timeless time here and now in preparation for whatever is to come.

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