In the midst of Lenten season, it seems only right for me to think about my time and how I spend it. For those who may not know, Lent is the six-week period between Ash Wednesday and Easter observed by Christians for the purpose of preparing the believer through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial. This year, I have chosen to focus on prayer (spending more time in prayer) and self-denial (not consuming any alcohol). For those who may want to know more – there are links at the bottom to direct you.
At first glance, many people think I spend all my time working. And I must confess that I LOVE to work. In my day job, I love making the list, chasing the deal, selling my value, troubleshooting the problems, mentoring young people, reporting to the boss, and ending the day with a huge sigh of completion and satisfaction. In officiating, I love packing the bag, traveling with partners, saying hello to the game administration team at the gym, running the court while making instantaneous decisions, defending my calls, admitting my errors (if I make them, of course), and then making the long haul back home. My adrenaline just rose while I was writing that. Dang, I do love the thrill of the job.
Another “work” area in my life gives me as much pleasure and thrill, relationship building and nurturing. I love staying connected with my friends and my family, and I am so abundantly fortunate to have a career that allows me so many random opportunities to connect. Admittedly, it would be easy to live a life like that of George Clooney’s character in Up In the Air, where he had no life outside of the hotels, airports, etc. But that just isn’t my style. In fact, last month I flew to an airport about two hours out of the way so I could travel to a game with a woman in the officiating circle whom I dearly love. I know she won’t be working games many more years. And WOW!, was I ever rewarded with friendship and conversation on that intentional, slightly inconvenient detour!
Last week, when I blew through Denver on the way to a game, I took the opportunity to connect with my aunt and my cousin and his family. I also made sure to spend some time with another friend–someone I mentored when she was in college and doing some officiating. How precious and rewarding it is to hear of her continued studies to be a doctor. I treasure all the years of lunch conversations we have had. This week, I have the pleasure of hosting a friend at my place while she is in town on business.
As you can see, staying connected is one of my favorite jobs in life. And yes, I do consider it a “job” because staying connected is “work” when you are on an airplane at least twice a week. Still, the way I see it, today would be a wasted day if I don’t work on relationships with the same enthusiasm and diligence as I do my other jobs. So, like other aspects of my life, I make a list. If you make it on my list this week I will pray for you (remember, I am focusing on that), make contact with you, ask about your life, and “work” on our relationship.
During this Lenten season, I want to finish each day knowing that I didn’t waste it and that I deserve another one. So I leave you with a statement (from a mentor) and a question (from my devotion) for self reflection:
Statement: Everyone has the same 24 hours in every day, it all depends on what you do with your time that determines your accomplishments.
Question: If you did not fulfill your purpose on this Earth today, why would God grant you another one?