My eyes are drawn to the schoolyard where six teenage boys are shooting hoops. That the sight seems extraordinarily ordinary speaks to the time in which we live.
Ahead, the stoplight turns red and the convoy I’m in slows to a stop. I’m grateful because it gives me a few precious extra moments to watch the boys.
I wonder about the stories they’ll tell their children and grandchildren about 2020, the year when everything changed.
We couldn’t know, one morning back in March, that we were waking up on what would be the last day of before. We don’t know, now, that this morning might be the last one before something unexpected or unimaginable happens.
There’s a phrase in scripture that talks about “redeeming the time”—basically meaning to make the best use of it. A few miles down the road past the basketball shooting boys I consider the concept.
Back in March, we talked about things we had time to do when life slowed for many of us. We reconnected with those who live in our homes. We played board games together, took up new hobbies or recommitted to those we had set aside in our busyness. We watched too much Netflix, read books, and did jigsaw puzzles. We baked bread.
Has all of this, or any of this, redeemed our time? Am I redeeming my time?
I’m not talking about productivity in terms of doing or creating something. I’m talking about the important, deep work of pondering, ruminating, and simply thinking.
Asking thoughtful questions and listening for the answers.
Considering my purpose and place in the world.
Really chewing on what I believe about people and time and faith; what I want to keep and what it’s time to let go of.
The better work.
I know, we’re all getting antsy and as we start to open things up, we want to get going.
But as I pause and watch boys wrestling over a basketball, I think maybe we shouldn’t be in such a hurry.
Maybe the work of redemption isn’t finished yet.
I need more time to ponder more things and release other things that no longer serve me.
I need to sit on a rock and watch birds soar and listen to the wind.
I need to be more than I need to do.
I need to listen more than I speak.