Though in most ways I have adapted to the Vincentian way of life, I still work on “American time” by habit.
American time means you show up early for everything (at least ten minutes early) while “Island time” may mean coming ten minutes late
Because of this I often find myself waiting for other people…and invariably those spare moments lead to boredom. Boredom in itself isn’t a problem of course, but its the response to boredom that creates a serious issue
Normally when spare moments come I (like many others) reach into my right pocket, and pull out my smartphone. And before long I’m checking facebook, scrolling through Twitter, or playing a game.
Recently a very helpful article with quotes from a new book “The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction” caused me to rethink my use of spare moments. One quote in the article was particularly challenging:
“I don’t open it (social media) because I’m bored or have a spare moment. Those spare moments are reserved for staring at walls, which is infinitely more useful.” Justin Earley
In other words, those moments can be spent on something far more productive than my phone!
In order to break the habit of instinctively reaching into my right pocket for the phone, I put something in my left pocket that is beneficial.
This is a stack of notecards with verses, prayer requests, ideas, sermon skeletons, and daily tasks written on them. Believe me when I say going through a stack of notecards isn’t as exciting as using your phone! However, it draws my mind and heart back to God instead of entertaining it.
Life is incredibly busy! So it’s far too easy in that busyness to drift from God. Thats why the three minutes standing in line at a store should be used to refocus my mind on what the Lord taught me that morning through His Word, pray for the brother or sister in need, or remember Gods Will for that day is absolutely necessary!
The Lord definitely calls us to have a devotions (a personal quiet time with Him) but we are also called to a “devotional life” that uses spare moments to turn back towards Him. It’s then the random inconveniences of life can give God glory ten minutes of meditation at a time.