I have this unspoken, unwritten agenda during weekdays… school, lunch, errands, housework, free time. I usually view this free time like the distant flags of a marathon finish line. Of course, having seen this typed out in front of me I realize how selfish and empty my day surely is.
I found a flea on my dog yesterday morning. Actually, I didn’t see the actual flea, but my doggie allergic so it only takes a bite or two to send her into a scratching, biting frenzy. I flipped her over and found several red spots on her tummy and smacked myself in the head for not treating her sooner.
Text to John
Me: London has fleas. Nice.
Me: So guess what I’m spending my free time doing… hmm…
John: I guess it’s not called free time anymore.
Well darn it if that isn’t true! I spent it going to the store for flea treatment, bathing her treating all three dogs, vacuuming everything and washing my daughters bedding (because this particular dogs sleeps with her.) Consequently, I had to unclog the drain (which was a victory in itself) and scrub the bathtub clean.
It got me thinking, what is free time anyway and where did I get the idea that I deserve or need to have it everyday? I heard a podcast recently that said the average American has over five hours of leisure time a day.
I was doing a unit a month ago on colonial American with my son and was surprised (for some dumb reason) to learn that the idea of free or leisure time didn’t even exist. Just to survive independently from Britain the colonists had to fight day and night for the basic needs of survival. There was even little difference between the children and adults in regards to workloads. The kids did just as much grunt work as their parents.
So what makes me feel so entitled to ‘free time’ everyday? I realize there needs to be a balance between work and rest, but it’s my internal attitude that I’m questioning. Why am I so concerned about focusing on ME all the time? Am I more consumed with that I can do for myself instead of what I can do for others? Haven’t I been trying to beat this into my kid’s heads?
I suppose I could treat this realization like the fleas… discover the mess, attack it with gusto and keep my fingers crossed that it won’t pop up again, yet there’s so much room for failure and self-condemnation in that approach.
My friend, Sue, recently said that she feels like a cheerleader shouting, “Abide! Abide! Abide!” She’s cute, and she’s right.
I want Christ to change me so that I don’t have to do it myself. The reality is that if I could change myself on my own I wouldn’t need Him in the first place, which is ridiculous.
I need Him I need Him I need him.