How My Vacation Reminded Me that How We Spend Our Time Shows Our Priorities
I’m just going to really honest here. I wish I was still on vacation. Last week, my husband and I went on our two year anniversary trip. We rented the cutest little cabin and spent our days hiking and exploring all kinds of natural wonders (pictures will eventually be posted on Facebook and Instagram, if you’re interest). It was just great. At five days long, it was the longest trip/break from work and school we’ve had since our honeymoon. I realize that’s only been two years, but I almost forgot what it was like to be on a vacation with Zach. It was glorious, a time to just be and be together.
We spent so much time just talking and joking and remembering and dreaming about things we’d like to do in the future. It was great to be able to just focus on one another and escape from the busyness of life for a couple of days. It can be so easy, even though we live together and see each other every day, to miss each other in the midst of everything that’s going on. Work and projects and entertainment and social media can get in the way. All those things can be good, but they can also distract us from the people we love.
They can also distract us from the most important thing of all: our relationship with God. I’ve been thinking and planning for my Six Week Spiritual Growth Journey these past couple of weeks and it’s made me think. What is holding me back from putting some of these practices into place more consistently? Honestly, it’s mostly silly stuff. There are no non-negotiables in there: work, chores, things that actually have to get done for life to function. For the most part though, the things that keep me from connecting with God are generally pointless. At the same time, am I willing to give them up (or do them less) in order to grow in my relationship with God?
Here’s an example: Facebook. I’ve been on Facebook for 12 years now. Wow, that makes me feel old. I posted a lot when I was in high school. I mostly stopped posting in college and just because a lurker, looking at what other people posted. I stopped caring about how many friends I had and such silly nonsense, but I would easily get sucked up in the “News Feed Vortex” and just end up scrolling through for hours. I actually limited myself to once a day or even once a week for a while, but eventually I picked it back up at some point.
Then I decided I was going to make a business page to try to grow my blog and (hopefully) develop an audience that would attract a publisher to my book (still a work in process, by the way). I really ramped up my Facebook time. Then I got Instagram and had a whole new Vortex to get sucked into. I’ve been thinking a lot in the last couple weeks about how much time I’m wasting watching other people live their lives, all the while neglecting to live my own.
So, that’s what I’ve decided I’m going to cut out/reduce in my life for the next six weeks as I’m doing this Spiritual Growth Journey thing. I’m actually hoping to make it permanent. I realized just how much time it’s been sucking up while I was on vacation. My goal to limit myself to looking at my Facebook News Feed/notifications for only 15 minutes a day (obviously since I’m doing the videos for the Spiritual Journey on Facebook, I’ll have to be on there longer than that, but at least I won’t get sucked into the News Feed Vortex). That will free up more time for me to engage in the spiritual practices I want to explore and start putting them into more consistent practice. Not to mention it keeps me more focused on what I need to do in my life instead of comparing what I’m doing with everyone else in the world.
The truth of the matter is, you can’t really make time. No matter what we want to add to our lives whether it’s spiritual practices, time with a significant other, working out, what have you, you have to give something up to make room for something else. We all have a finite amount of time available to us. We only get 60 minutes in each hour, 24 hours in a day, and 365 days a year. If we want to start something new, we have to give up something old. So I ask you, whether you’re joining me for my Six Week Spiritual Growth Journey or whether you just want more time with God or to develop some new habits, what are you going to give up?
****If you’d like to join me in my Six Week Spiritual Growth Journey, make sure to join my email list and like me on Facebook. I’ll be doing a Facebook Live session every Tuesday night at 7:00 Pacific time (9 Central and 10 Eastern) focusing on a different spiritual practice to help you grow in your relationship with God. I’ll give some background info on the practice and well as practical tips to help you live it out and a challenge to encourage you to do so. I’ll also be sending on a write up on the practice to everyone on my email list as a helpful resource. Together we can explore these practices and start to make new positive patterns in our lives!****