The Frittering

Lately I noticed my online game time has been increasing. I would surmise some of you also take time occasionally to play some solitaire, or some matching games, mah-jongg, or maybe even multi player online games. These games can be fun. And I like to test my knowledge and abilities against a machine occasionally. Some games are even good for your brain, like word games or matching games. See how well I can justify the time spent?

The problem for me is that I can justify this very well to myself. I am building up my abilities. I am actually helping myself not get Alzheimer’s. I am using different parts of my brain than I do when I get stuck in my writing mode. Oh it is so easy to rationalize my actions! However, there is always a little part of me that is bothering me, saying DO SOMETHING WORTHWHILE! OF course, I am pretty good at either ignoring this voice, or shutting it out.

I think we all have this voice, and I think we all are pretty good at ignoring it or shutting it out. That voice is overactive, because we all have things that fritter away our time, if not online games maybe yours is reading, or the news, or sewing, or crossword puzzles. These are all good, wholesome past-times, and most of the time they don’t affect us adversely, so we allow ourselves to indulge.

But right now, we are not in most times. We are not experiencing everyday normal life. We are in hiatus, or what we hope is hiatus. Being stuck at home and having to find things to fill our days, while not going stir crazy should not become our new normal. Let’s keep that on our prayer list. But because we are stuck at home, we find ourselves doing things that normally we see as taking a break. THat is why that voice in our mind is getting a work out.

Where does this voice come from? Why does it bother us so? Sometimes, I think this voice is just our own conscious, which can nag at us for any myriad of reasons. But once in a while, that voice might be the voice of God speaking to us, warning us, calling us, and asking for our help. Friends, we need to remember that even in the midst of this particular time, we are the hands and feet of God in this time and place. Our actions are God reaching out to this community. Once in a while, I think we need to look at our lives, our actions, especially right now, when we have been asked to leave behind our regular duties and remain home. How do we fill our time?

I think sometimes the voice calls us away from those things that we use to fritter our time is a warning, a reminder that we are God’s children. That our actions should illustrate God in our lives. Our time wasters sometimes keep us from noticing needs of our friends, neighbors, and community. Those activities that we use to fill time actually are also used as a way to engage our imagination and fill our minds with things other than God. I know Presbyterians don’t often think about the Devil, or Satan. But who is behind the choices we make about our time and how we will fill it? Who benefits from us doing the time wasting activities?

If we give in to the games, the crosswords, the continual Facebook checking or news watching, we might miss the opportunity to check in on our neighbors, or say a prayer, or think on God’s scripture for the day. Please join me as I try to not give in to filling my time with things that are just wastes.

Let’s talk about it.

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