Oh, how sweet the light of day, And how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour, Remembering that there will also be many dark days And that most of what comes your way is smoke. Ecclesiastes 11:7 (The Message)
The week of Fall Back (when Daylight Savings time ends) always finds me rising pleasantly early with time to pick up the house and fold laundry before leaving for work and then, in the evening, falling into bed exhausted at 9:00 PM. It is interesting to consider how one day the alarm sounding at 6:00 AM is annoying, but the next, I wake fresh and rested. Maybe it is just that the sun is already up. In a few months when it is dark again, I won’t be so chipper. Although I enjoy redeeming my one hour reluctantly banked each spring, I wish someone in charge would come to their senses and leave the time alone. One or the other, I do not care, just enough with the switching around. It did make me think about the value of one hour. Generally, I chose to spend that hour sleeping, but when I do rise early, I find so much gets done. For example, this morning, I did a load of wash, and then, put it in the dryer and put another load in the washer. I emptied the dishwasher and gathered all the dirty dishes to refill it. I wiped down the kitchen countertops, cleaned out the refrigerator and took two garbage cans to the road for pickup. I folded a load of towels, swept the kitchen floor, shook out a rug, put shoes away and changed the tablecloth on the kitchen table. All of that in addition to my usual barn chores and getting ready for work. But, I can’t help but wonder what other things I could do with that hour other than housework. I am reminded about my commitment to do the Radical Experiment: spend 2% of my time in another context, read through the Bible in one year, pray for the entire world in one year, give up one luxury item and give the money to someone or something that needs it and join a growing community of believers. What would happen if I spent that extra hour reading the Bible or praying for the world? What would happen if instead of giving only 25 % of my time which is about 2 hours a week, 8 hours a month or one week a year, I gave five hours a week and more than doubled that commitment? How might my community be changed? How might I be changed? I invest a lot of my time into picking up after people who should know how to do it themselves. I invest a lot of my time into doing things that make me happy. I am not saying I shouldn’t serve my family nor have fun, but I would like my life to be more in balance. There’s a lot that can be crammed into 60 minutes or 360 seconds a day. And lots of choices into how I use it. How about you? What did you do with your “extra” hour this weekend?