Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Finding Time

I keep thinking that I will find time to reflect well on the actions which fill my life these days, and to read, write, and to ride my bicycle. And here I am on the brink of the last month of the year and I have read relatively little. written relatively little, ridden sparingly (by my standards), and not engaged in a level of contemplation that moves me more than a few inches below the surface of appearances and conventional thought.

Of course, there is always plenty of time. If I have not had time it is because I have not taken time, made time, carved out the spaces for the reading, reflection, writing and riding that bring me both joy and put me uniquely in touch with creative resources. Time is not the issue. Choices and discipline is the issue.

We find time for what we want to do or feel we need to do, do we not? Over 2016, I have felt and responded to the need to respond proactively to the numerous community development opportutnities and challenges before the organization I lead, to respond to the opporunities and challenges of the congregation I serve, to respond to family opportunities and challenges, to respond to nonprofit community service opportunities and challenges of the causes I deeply care for, etc. The "free time" I have had is the limited marginal time between these primary concerns. Still, that represents a significant amount of time.

I am grateful for meaningful opportunities and challenges that call for my time. I am grateful to work in areas of my passion: community development, impacting the city I love and call home, cultivating a fragile urban community of faith, investing in social enterprises that change can change the trajectory of lives. I have thrown myself--and my time--into these over these eleven months. My investment of time and energy is much of my expressed mission and prayer.

And yet. And yet, I feel I am also called to reflect and to write. And the joy of cycling is somehow integrated into these callings. This part of my sense of calling has taken a back seat to the calling to what Parker J. Palmer and the Quakers call "the active life" thus far this year. But, on the eve of December, I feel strongly the call read, to reflect, to write, and to ride with renewed focus.

Will I "find time" for these disicplines, these actions over the next month? Will I forego time wasters and whatever idleness that robs my soul of these valued sources of soul sustenance and growth? I will if I so choose. This blog piece may well be the first expression of this dscipline.

John Franklin Hay
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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