If Only We Had Another Hour
We live our lives in a race against time. Our calendars are filled with target dates and deadlines. We work as hard as we can within time limits. Just think what we could accomplish if we only had just another hour.
Many of us recognize we simply react our way toward goals. We do not have time to see the big picture or think things through, much less practice being mindful and aware.
If only we had another hour to reflect on what we are doing, our work could be so much more.
Just imagine what we could do with another hour.
This weekend is the one time of year when we actually have another hour.
We probably realize we do not actually get another hour. Those of us who pay attention to details know the hour we gain this weekend is the one we lost last spring.
The question we face, though, is how we will use our additional hour this weekend. How do we value this hour, recognizing our opportunity?
Where are all those projects on which we could have done better work if we only had another hour? Will we spend our hour looking at life differently? Can we use at least part of our hour being mindful and open to spiritual life?
Many of us will choose to invest our hour this weekend in sleeping. I believe there are ways we spend hours which are less spiritual. Resting may be the most healthy way we can use our hour.
I would hate for us to sleep through our extra hour without knowing it is how we decide to spend it.
How will we choose to use the gift of this weekend, our additional hour?
How Could We Use Another Hour?
Our first step in choosing how to use our hour is to make sure we recognize all our choices.
The pressures of our lives can leave us feeling our time, even our one more hour, is already spent. There are so many things we feel responsible to do, so many projects we are pulled to complete. It is a challenge for us to pay attention, reflect, and use the gift of this hour wisely.
We need to slow down and take enough deep breaths to get past feeling guilty or compelled. This weekend is giving us the gift of one more hour and we want to spend it well.
It is probably helpful for us not to spend our hour deciding what we want to do with it.
Some of us will be inclined to spend the entire hour on one thing while others will split it between tasks. We may focus on doing something which helps us become healthier, physically or emotionally. Many of us will use our hour to strengthen our financial situation. We could spend an hour taking a walk, listening to a podcast, attending a worship service, or watching a fire in a fireplace.
There are various ways we can choose to use our one more hour. We may do something for ourselves, for people we know, or for our wider community.
We could spend our extra hour this weekend deciding how to fill out a ballot or praying.
Our challenge is not to find the single best way to use another hour. Each of us has many ways we can invest our hour making our lives richer and deeper. We are looking for ways to put our values into practice, to use this one hour as wisely as we can.
Will Another Hour Make a Difference?
I know people who believe our single hour this weekend is not enough to make a real difference.
They see themselves surrounded by significant, complicated challenges and problems. The world is in bad shape, they will say, and it will take more than an hour one weekend to fix it.
We are facing serious difficulties, too many to list on a single sheet of paper. I do not know whether one more hour this weekend can solve all of them, or any of them.
It will make a difference, I believe, if each of us who receives another hour this weekend invests it wisely.
Each of us will be given the gift of one more hour this weekend. How we choose to use it is up to us.
There is no limit on how we can use our hour to help ourselves become better or help other people. We can invest our hour in helping someone who needs help or trying to make a difference on a global scale. Some of us could choose to spend an hour in silent meditation while others decide to build houses.
We will each receive another hour this weekend no matter how we choose to use it. Our decision about this one more hour this weekend could make more of a difference than how we vote next year.
Investing Our One More Hour
If all of us, or enough of us, choose to use our one more hour this weekend to make a difference, we will.
Our hours will combine to help people who need help. We do not all need to be working on the same issue or even pushing in the same direction. Each of us has something to contribute, energy and ideas to help make the world better.
The challenge we face is not organizing or logistics or about our political philosophy. Our most significant obstacle is we do not believe we have time to make a difference. We are not convinced what we have to offer is valuable.
Our first step, this weekend, is choosing to use the one more hour we will be given. We will amaze ourselves when we see what we can do with just one more hour.
How will we invest our additional hour to make a difference this weekend?
When will we decide how to use our additional hour to make a difference today?
[Image by dgoomany]
Greg Richardson is a spiritual director in Southern California. He is a recovering assistant district attorney and associate university professor and is a lay Oblate with New Camaldoli Hermitage near Big Sur, California. Greg’s website is http://StrategicMonk.com and his email address is StrategicMonk@gmail.com.