There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: Ecclesiastes 3:1
Last night at Writers’ Group (or is it Writer’s Group?), we discussed how to stay focused and motivated when there are so many other distractions in life. One member stated that she has so many things she wants to do in life and often delays writing because she “will have time for that later.” Another spoke about the needs of family and friends and how she puts them before her own need to write. Someone else mentioned career responsibilities that drain his creativity. I tried to contribute to the discussion, but as often happens these days, my spoken word does not keep up with what my brain is formulating so this is what I wanted to say. While I know that careers and people necessarily come first in our lives, everyday, we make the choice on how to spend the rest of our time. Each of us has some free time, some, like me, an empty nester, with more than the person who still has children at home. But, all of us have some free time. The question is how do you spend that time? Do you choose a mind numbing activity like television or video games? Do you scroll Facebook for inspiration? Do you invest your time in crafts or hobbies? In pets or gardening? Do you cook or clean house? Are you volunteering or supporting a charity? How do you spend your time? A quote credited to someone named Michael Nolan hangs over my desk at work. It says, “There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few that will catch your heart. Pursue those.” So, of all those things that you do with your time, what catches your heart? We often succumb to the squeaky wheel, the thing that is right in front of us. We agree to volunteer, to bake, to help. We turn on the television because it is easiest. Not that those things are not good things, but they may not be the best thing. There are so many things in this world we could choose, but what catches your heart? Or as another of my favorite quotes says, this one by Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.” If God has given you the passion for something, if it makes your heart come alive, then, that is what you need to be doing. For me, writing makes me come alive (well, and dog training and gardening, but that is all that I can do in the time that I have right now). So, I set aside all the other things that I could do, volunteer, watch television, even sometimes cooking and cleaning, so that I have the time for my passion. How about you? What makes you come alive? What catches your heart? Narrow down your choices. Make a priority list. Then, do it.