Friday, August 18, 2006

Improve your time

I love the phrase "improve your time." Maybe it's my Protestant work ethic shining through, but time to me is a precious commodity, not to be wasted.

I've had to learn a lot about what is valuable activity, though. For instance, it took me years to discover how valuable playing with my children is. One Christmas, this workaholic mother actually gave the gift of time to her children—she promised not to do any work, all day, on Christmas, but instead to just play with them and their toys. She didn't even cook that day, but did all necessary preparation the night before. The kids were perhaps 3 and 8. It was a great Christmas. So sometimes my challenge is actually allowing myself to relax, which has its place in our overworked world.

Other times I've been impatient for results so have spun my wheels in useless activity. Being between jobs is an example of this. My original tendency was to rush around, pursuing leads. In more recent years, I've viewed the in-between times as opportunities to stop, contemplate, re-focus. I mean, once you have a job, how much time to you have to really dig in spiritually and mentally? I now believe the in-between times are a gift that can be improved with steady focus on Spirit.

So, I'd like to share today what Mary Baker Eddy says on the subject. I believe she would definitely include spiritual pursuits and prayerful downtime in her list of quality endeavors, and I bet family time and relationship building would be in there as well. It may seem below like she's advocating constant work, but I think she'd also include proper balance and expression.


Success in life depends upon persistent effort, upon the improvement of moments more than upon any other one thing. A great amount of time is consumed in talking nothing, doing nothing, and indecision as to what one should do. If one would be successful in the future, let him make the most of the present.

Three ways of wasting time, one of which is contemptible, are gossiping mischief, making lingering calls, and mere motion when at work, thinking of nothing or planning for some amusement, — travel of limb more than mind. Rushing around smartly is no proof of accomplishing much.

All successful individuals have become such by hard work; by improving moments before they pass into hours, and hours that other people may occupy in the pursuit of pleasure. They spend no time in sheer idleness, in talking when they have nothing to say, in building air-castles or floating off on the wings of sense: all of which drop human life into the ditch of nonsense, and worse than waste its years.

"Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."

--Mary Baker Eddy's Miscellaneous Writings

Today's moments have been given to our care. How can we improve them?

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 8/18/2006 10:27:00 AM, Anonymous Cath said...

Just wanted to say thank you. This is very helpful.



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