I simply cannot believe that tomorrow is the first of August. Where has 2015 gone? I told someone on the phone yesterday that I would love to work with their church, which is going through a renewal process, but, unfortunately, there is not a single Saturday I am available until 2016. I’m just now getting used to writing 2015, but I already have had to buy a 2016 calendar.
Time passes so quickly when you are overextended, and I’ll confess that may be why I still think I’m 25. As my mama says, I have burned the candle at both ends my whole life long. Lately, though, I’ve been thinking that needs to change. Actually, it probably should have changed long ago.
I don’t have a priest, so will you hear my confession? I’d like to tell you that I have filled my calendar so full because I want to make a difference in this world and leave it and, specifically, the church world, better than I found it … and that is true. I’d like to tell you that I work two full-time jobs because I love what I do and just can’t seem to say no to any of it … and that is true. I might even tell you that I’m working this hard because I need the money … and that might be true, except one full- time job doesn’t really pay me.
While those things are true, there is a greater truth about me, and perhaps about you, too. I work so hard because I want to feel important. That need is rooted in insecurity, which can be traced back to childhood or perhaps even earlier. You see, I think so much of our constant busyness is rooted in the primal sense of mortality with which we all were born. It is as if our activity-filled days support our illusion that we somehow can live forever. We try to cram every minute full just in case we don’t get another life, so we will have crammed two lives into one lifespan.
We all know the real truth: we are going to die, and, no matter how busy we stay or how important we pretend to be, life will go on after we are gone. Put your hand in a bucket of water and then remove it. The water might miss your hand, but the place where it was has been filled and the water goes on. Perhaps making peace with that truth will free us to relish each moment more and fill it less. Until then … Staples already has their 2016 calendars on the shelf, and I got mine.
Rev. Michael Piazza