I have spent almost my entire day today just thinking without an agenda. In other words my mind has been wandering randomly all day, and I am ok with that. It started this morning as I was thinking about a conversation I had last week with my cousin about the benefits of factions in the church, this thought later became a blog post over at Dead Pastor Society. Later I began to think about how most preaching both liberal and conservative typically amounts to just beating people down in order to get them to do something, and then the phrase “The beatings will continue until moral increases” came into my head and that spurred on a whole other line of thinking. Eventually I ended up watching some video about the holocaust, later listened to some teaching on the Theology of the Cross, checked facebook a few times… and now I am just sitting here writing another blog post. This is not an atypical Monday for me. In fact I always look forward to Mondays because this how they usually go. Monday is the day that I free myself up to do this sort of things, ALL DAY. Granted I do more of this at other times during the week, but for the most part I have no plans to do anything but bounce around in thought on Monday. When I get done with this post I will be picking up “Orthodoxy” by GK Chesterton and hopefully finishing the rest of it, and later I will continue reading from 2 Chronicles if time allows.
Monday is random, undisciplined, and free. In some ways it is even better than a day off.
Of course the question comes up, “Jay! How do you have time to do that?” Let’s be honest, you, reader (if you are like most people), are not as busy as you say you are. You’re just not. People ask you how life is, you say “really really busy”, but the reason you say that is because it makes you feel important, and it gives you an excuse for never calling or talking to the person you’re in the conversation with. We just are not as busy as we proclaim to be. Most of the tasks we have to do take far less time then we allot for them, and sometimes we take much longer than necessary just because it makes the task seem all the more important. Need proof? How many times has a deadline crept up on you and out of necessity you complete your task in 1/3 the time you normally take and lo it’s done just as well. Come on, be honest, you are not as busy as you say you are, and your job and your family is not as demanding as you make it out to be! (Of course there are exceptions and you may be one of them, but I bet most people reading this are sensing the truth of what I am saying.)
I don’t write any of this to condemn anyone, not at all. I write this to encourage you to free up some of your work time for random thought. You have already fought enough with employers and family and such to get everyone to believe it takes you longer to do a task than it really does, which means that you have extra time on your hands. Have fun with it! Don’t waste all of it on facebook (but waste some there), or looking through old emails. Get some books, think random thoughts, write, contemplate, do the things your mind longs to do. You will find that you are going to have so much more to talk about with people, you become more insightful, and more ready to do good creative work, all because you took time to be random.
I certainly believe we should be a disciplined people (that is why I give myself Monday and not the rest of the week.) There are tasks that we need to do, deadlines we need to meet. I only am telling you not to believe your own lies about how difficult your job is and how little time you have, because the time you take making those lies appear true is time that you could waste doing fun stuff, like writing blogs, reading books, and listening to good theology. (At least that’s what I find fun!)
I’d love to hear all your thoughts on this one.