“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” - Ferris Bueller

A friend and I were recently talking about the movies that were nominated to receive Oscars. We were talking about the movies that we had heard about and which ones we wanted to see. She asked me if I had seen any of them, and I found myself scoffing and saying, “I don’t get to watch movies anymore.” And then I realized that I had recently said the same thing about any number of different things that I love to do. I’ve said it as if these things were

“I don’t get to do that anymore.”
It’s code for “I’m too busy.”
It’s code for “I’ve got too much else to do.”
And it’s time for that to stop.

Our lives have become so incredibly busy. Between work, family, activities, and so on and so forth, it seems that we have something to do every moment of every day.
There are things and people that are pulling at us from all directions, demanding our time, our energy, our attention.
And as we go along, living in the midst of this incredible busyness, we start to drop things out of our lives that we see as things that we can do later...things that we later see as luxuries and not necessities. Things like reading, spending time with our significant other, coffee and conversation with friends...even prayer.

But the reality is that these very things that we drop out of our lives in order to make room for the busyness of our lives...they are the very things that we need in our lives in order to have the strength and the stamina to handle the busyness of our lives. They are things that take us outside of ourselves and feed our souls. They are the things that renew our spirits and expand our horizons.
We need these things in order to sustain our lives. We need these things in our lives in order to enjoy our lives.
We need these things.

And so, for me, I’ve decided to do something about it. For the season of Lent this year, I have chosen to take on a spiritual discipline of reading. I’ve set the bar pretty high, I know...I’ve challenged myself to read at least one book a week (fiction, non-fiction, whatever) in order to get me back in the rhythm of taking the time to read. I am hopeful that I will find myself renewed in many ways at the end of this 6 and a half week period of time.
Will you join me in the Lenten discipline of challenging yourself to engage in something that you love and that renews you? I pray that, if you do, you too may find yourself renewed and lifted up in many ways.

**crossposted at pastor's musings over at shpcrocks.org