I’ve been doing an unprecedented amount of grumbling lately — both inside my head and outside it — about lots of things, but especially about time.
I don’t have time to work out.
I don’t have time to clean my room or do my laundry (and even when I get it washed I never seem to get it folded or ironed).
I so rarely get any time to myself.
The work day takes up so much time and I seem to waste so much of it.
I climbed into my car at the end of the day yesterday and set off with a sigh, half thinking about my time and wondering where it all goes and why I always feel so guilty about the way I use it, and half thinking about my evening plans and whether or not I’d remembered to pack comfortable shoes. (My toes were pinched in the heels I’d been wearing all day, but I didn’t have time to dash home for a quick change.)
Over the past two weeks I’ve been using my commute to listen to C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters via YouTube recording on my iPhone, and I plugged in the latest chapter and turned it on. For the record, I love listening to books on tape read by British actors. Maybe it makes me feel intelligent, or maybe I just love the accent, but a book on tape is only half good unless it’s read in that sweet, snobbish, slightly ironic accent.
And wouldn’t you know that the chapter I happened to be listening to was chapter 21 (or Letter 21, if you’re being exact), which deals precisely with demons making their “patients” feel peevish by allowing them to assume that their time is their own.
It may be odd, but nothing makes me feel better about life, the universe, and everything quite like realizing in my darker moments that God is laughing at me. That all the issues I’ve been taking so seriously and assuming are my own responsibility aren’t really anything at all, and will I please just let go the reins and remember that nothing I have is my own, not even the hours I schedule so carefully day after day and let myself get so worked up about.
My time is not my time. It’s a gift. And I should start treating it that way.
Thank you, C.S. Lewis, for the needed reminder.