By: Gunther Fiek
Posted by: Bob Chatelle
“Time is a statement of priority.” A profound assertion that I recently read which means: “The way we spend our time says a lot about what we consider important – and what we don’t.” It surely reveals what our priorities are — more profoundly, what and or who we love.
Most people experience difficulty fitting anything else to their daily routine. Work, leisure, exercise, hobbies, meals, chores, sleep and any other miscellaneous items fill one’s already overwhelming schedule. Wife? Girlfriend? Children? Friends? Hmm … things just got a bit more complicated. This is when one sits back and evaluates – or reevaluates – those things in one’s life that makes their life easier or that brings happiness to them. (Although, a bit selfishly if you ask me). We prioritize and accomplish this by attempting to develop new habits and by getting rid of old or bad ones that may hamper our ability to distinguish what those priorities are — or should be. From what I remember reading on the issue and my own observations, age and mental state are a factor but, at the end, anything can be accomplished if there is a will and desire. And we do that for our own sake because … it affects those around us. Especially, the ones who care about us.
It takes determination to make changes in one’s habits. It is said that it can take anywhere from 21 to 40 something days to accomplish just that. Not an easy task of course. We are all accustomed to a certain routine, practice, habitude or wont. Nonetheless, there may be periods in our lives that are good to step back and assess those daily habits to see if we are giving sufficient time to the most important priorities and seek ways to improve ourselves in those areas of our lives that have been neglected or just needs cultivation.
Some people choose to make changes because they become aware of its necessity (eg. health, relationships). Others might have been aware of it by someone who is concerned for their well being — maybe out of love. They may set a goal to start at a certain time and probably make a plan. New Year’s resolutions are popular. After a birthday. The birth of a child. Faith or beliefs. The reasons can be numerous.
As for myself, I have become aware that I needed to make some changes to a life style and habits that have been impeding my progress in areas of my life that needs refinement. Indeed, areas that define who I am and deepens the roots and standing of priorities I set years ago. Such as my faith. Why? Because, for instance, it affects the relationship I should have with my family, friends, and peers. So one of those times of the year to do just that is the Lenten season.
Lent began on March 1st with Ash Wednesday. Most Christians around the world such us Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Lutherans and Methodist observe the Lenten season which last 40 days. It is the time before Easter in which we pray, fast, contemplate, and engage in acts of spiritual self discipline. Its a time to renew ourselves and an opportunity to purify our hearts as we prepare to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ. Forty days is seen as the traditional number of judgement and spiritual testing in the Bible and Lent bears particular relationship to the 40 days Christ spent fasting in the desert before entering into his public ministry.
I don’t intend to use this post to get into details about Lenten penances or guidelines set aside and required to do as a minimum. The spirit of Lent is also to do something more, something extra, to grow closer to Christ and we are free to do just that in addition to what’s essential. And with the closeness I’m hoping to gain so too will my spiritual growth. That has been my focus of this post. The additional acts that we can do that hopefully, with my priorities in the proper order, allocates proper time to each one in a way that is fruitful.
As I finish typing this post I’m entering the second week of Lent. It hasn’t been easy. Temptations and distractions are obstacles that have been difficult to overcome on a daily basis. Old habits that I’m trying to get rid off are just as stubborn and persistent as they can be — and determined to stay. Yes, these are short term goals. 40 days. But, in essence, they affect the outcome of my long term goals if I can get pass those hurdles.
Even if one is not a religious person, making changes for one’s own sake or for the sake of others may improve not only different areas of one’s life, but also for all those who take part in it. Sometimes is necessary to let go to those habits that impede allocating the proper time to each individual priority saved they be in the proper order. Especially, when it comes to having in mind those who care about us. We show – or should show – how we feel towards them according to the lastingness of time we give.
In my case, because I have faith and I believe, I’m making the necessary changes to devote the time deserved to the One who provides and cares for just not myself but to those who are important to me.