but we DON'T do.
Maybe it's to exercise regularly, to join a Bible study, to volunteer at a nursing home (to volunteer anywhere), to sing in the church choir, to finish that book you start six months ago, to apply for graduate school, to pray each day, to organize the mountain of papers on your desk, to attend a play group, to cook more meals at home, etc.
And our universal excuse is:
"I'm too busy."...which can also take the form of "if I have time," "when I have time," "I'll try," "fill in the blank with your favorite excuse here..."
But are we really too busy??
How do we really spend our time??
Lately (we are talking for several months at this point), I have been wanting to do something(yes, it's on the list above). Yet, I have to wonder how badly I really want it if I have yet to do anything but talk about it for half a year.
As I pondered this, I was reminded of an experience I had five years ago (wow...suddenly feeling very old). Anyway, I was a senior in college at Colorado State University. CSU had recently acquired some lovely Catholic missionaries who led students in Bible studies. One day in the middle of the fall semester, I was approached by Kim Bradica, one of the missionaries. She asked me if I would like to join her Bible study. Of course I *wanted* to, so I got the information and told her I would (get ready for it...) *try* to come. After a no-show that week, she approaced me the next week and reminded me about Bible study. "Yeah, I will come if I'm not too (you know it...) *busy*." The next week I didn't *have time* and the week after that I would have to *see how much I had to do* that day.
After all, I was busy, and besides I already attended Mass every Sunday AND Tuesday and hung out with holy people when it was convenient...I mean, I didn't really need Bible study, if you know what I mean.
Well, one Tuesday evening after Mass and student supper, Kim approached me again...here it comes, I thought--she is going to ask me to come to Bible study.
And she did.
But after I had rambled off my excuse for the week, no doubt using the word "busy" or "time," she just looked at me--in front of a handful of my peers--and said, "Andrea, sometimes you just have to commit."
I was stunned, I was speechless, I was embarrassed.
And after a few more seconds, I was offended...guilty?...and a little angry. Who did this girl think she was? Who was she to judge me? Did she not know how busy (there's that word again) my social and academic life were??
As the words really sank in, however, I knew I felt the way I did because she was right.
Sometimes you just have to commit!
Sometimes we just have to choose what is worth the fight and what isn't. We have to choose our priorities and stick to them, even when it's not convenient, even when we are busy, even when we are tired, even when we don't (think we) have time.
I spend at least five minutes brushing my teeth EVERYDAY. Why? Because it's a priority...it's a cultural expectation...it's a part of my schedule. But ask me to throw flossing in twice a day, and I'll probably find an excuse not to do it half the time. Why? Because it's not a priority, it's not part of my daily plan, it's not as fun and refreshing and minty cool as brushing my teeth. But do I have time to floss my teeth each day? YES.
So what is it for you that you "just don't have time" for? Once you figure it out--if you are anything like me, there is probably a long list of things--consider whether or not you really don't have time for it. As you make your consideration, think about how much time and energy you spend on the computer, in front of the tv, putting on makeup, reading magazines, doing things that are much lower on the totem pole...
And then Just Commit! Commit to doing something that really matters...or just let it go. Ironically, just as I was sitting down to write this, my friend had this as her Facebook status:
there's only so much you can talk about something . . . after that you have to decide if you care enough to do something about it or if it is better left alone.
I am sick of just talking about doing things...and am hopefully now inspired enough to commit...and hopefully you are too!So whatever happened with me and Bible study? I never missed it again. Turns out I did have time, turns out I wasn't too busy. Did I have to make a conscious decision to attend each week? Yes. Did I have to plan around it? Yes. Did I have to make it a priority? Yes. Was it really that hard? NO. Once I was committed (thanks to Kim calling me out!), I didn't just talk about going or say I would try to go...I just did it!