“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1
I’ve been looking at the clock a lot the past few days. In this week of catching up and cleaning up and preparing for company, there are also appointments, volunteer opportunities and other regularly scheduled events. I’m aware of the time in a different way this week.
It is a rare day or week when I don’t compile a list of things that need to be done. I’ve done it for years. It keeps me on track…and gives me a sense of satisfaction as I cross off those completed items! My lists are often extremely ambitious. My husband laughs at them because he knows that quite often the things I have listed to do before lunch may actually take the better part of two days to accomplish. That doesn’t bother me. The point of the list is so that I don’t forget what needs doing.
After several weeks of no list–no energy & no action for the most part!–there’s a lot to do. It’s compounded a bit by the most fabulous company who will arrive on Friday and stay until sometime Sunday. My #4 is coming to visit! DAYS with a wonderful friend! What a gift! In addition to the overnight guest, there will be others–just as special (my #2 & #5!)–who will come for meals and catching up and just hanging out with us while our friend is here. I want the house to be “just so” for their arrival. That doesn’t mean “perfect”; it means clean and comfortable so we can just focus on each other and the joy of our time together. I have a deadline to meet. There are still lots of important things to be done.
All these things were running through my head as I was on my way back from the mailbox this morning and a neighbor pulled his truck into my driveway. We always give a friendly wave when we see each other around town, when we’re out mowing the lawns or see each other elsewhere, but our schedules/ages/habits have always been so different that we’ve never reallly socialized in all the years we’ve lived nearby. He’s dropped by to share a newspaper article or the occasional comment, but I was still surprised when he pulled into the drive this morning…to tell me that his wife had passed away earlier today.
He was calm and on his way to make the arrangements and my heart broke for him and the loss of his beloved someone who had lived so near and was still a virtual stranger to me. Suddenly my list of things to do didn’t seem nearly so important.
I’ve had a few hours to think about things since then. I’m still working on my list and I’m still looking forward to the weekend, but I’m also doing some mental re-shuffling as I do so. There are a few more things that need to be added to the list now…and a few things that I know can be eliminated. It’s time to focus on the important things…the people around me. There are prayers to be prayed and food and calls to be made.
I’m sharing this today because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who gets caught up in to-do lists and schedules that leave little room for some of the people who live nearby. Some of them may even be in the next room? Whatever else you’ve got planned for this week, would you take another look at your schedule and make sure you’re doing the really important things first?
The writer of Ecclesiastes gives us a whole list of activities that make up our lives on this earth. Each one is important and necessary if we intend to live healthy and balanced lives. Take some time to read through the list today? No matter where you find yourself in the list give yourself permission to be fully there for as long as you need to be. The lessons you learn where you are will carry you to the next step. What time is it where you live?