What Your Free Time Says About You

What Your Free Time Says About You January 22, 2018

I am currently coaching a man named Tim, a missionary in Serbia, who learned a lot about himself during a recent assessment of his free time.

Tim is doing some incredible things. He spends his days at an orphanage, teaching English to children. Twice a week, he leads worship at a bilingual church service.

“I get to be a part of all of these great things,” Tim said to me recently. “Things I really love. But I still feel like I am wasting my time. I feel empty. Lost.”

Tim’s situation is, unfortunately, not rare. We fill our time with the things we believe will bring us deep joy. We take jobs in pursuit of purpose. We schedule events in hopes of being entertained. Even when it is great, sometimes, strangely, it is not enough.

Tim and I talked about what he does during his free time.

“Oh, I’m so exhausted after ministry. I watch Netflix. I sleep in, I nap, whatever.”

steinar-engeland-128831

There is perhaps no greater indication of who we are than what we chose to do with our free time. John Wooden said, “the true test of a man’s character is measured by what he does when no one is watching.”

Our free time is the overflow of our hearts. It doesn’t matter how tired or busy or frustrated we are. Our free time choices are the greatest indicator of who we are and what we value in ourselves.

Why? Perhaps it is because of the pureness of the choice. Untouched by money or performance and people-pleasing, and unshackled by ‘necessary’, our free time is the opportunity for our souls to express themselves.

This doesn’t mean that everything else we do is meaningless.

What it means is that life is about ownership. It is about making the choices most aligned with our identity.

Most of the time, our culture looks at free time as “off”’. A time to check out, to “decompress”. So, what exactly are we pursuing when we take away those constraints? Nothingness? Boredom? Video Games?

A few weeks later, Tim and I talked about what he was doing during his free time. We talked about the choices he was making when there were no choices being made for him. We talked about what it looks like to own your free time, rather than just letting it happen to you.

Tim is writing more, playing music on the rooftop of his lodging when no one is watching. He still rests during his free time, but with more awareness and purpose, careful not to let rest morph into complacency. He’s using his free time as a time to live rather than to detach from living.

What do you do during your free time?

"I'm surprised by the answer proposed; I thought it would be the sun, as metaphor ..."

The Copernican Revolution Your Relationships Need
"Defending my values: Women on waves.org is the website and info@womenonwaves.org is the email to ..."

Do You Really Value Your Values?
"White Liberal/Democrat/Progressive Christians: "I value diversity..., psst..., but only up to my front gate.""

Do You Really Value Your Values?
"The concept of "values" has always puzzled me. "I yam what I yam." If you ..."

Do You Really Value Your Values?

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Family
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Vishnu Murthy

    I do evry time pray with out ceseing as apostles did read word praching gospel in our villege were karmikanagar rahamth nager two place i walk i took my bible i start walk and prayer some one to pray if any one instrest i will share gospel most image thing i will my phone number i said call me if any heald pray and i tell you after of church were we worship place old place so they people they build realtion with frist they know by personal have intimace this time i donthave want time i have still have bible class go in there i told them all pray no results i did my gruduvet familiar collge i said that two year we were god place us did they after come up city god some 1 kingdom 17 -1-20there was one women she was a widow he had one they have eat beseace of famanethat country in til god send rain that oil not finish powder will not end in pot that god brought hear from that place i hear voice of god clear with lord voice he day like this Amen Amen Amen when 2014 i was pain about vision of god if i go other my vision that sent no i be continue hear church holder of god jesus brother james jhon kepa piller of church that how i start find contact talk i not vision talking to you that there fasting god give grece that aprochnity until come lord come in life have intimace daily brade thankyou snehA amen