Oh! Teach us to live well!
Teach us to live wisely and well! – Psalm 90:12 (The Message)
I needed to go to the bank last week to cash a check. This is not something that happens too often anymore. Most of the time, when I get a check I use an app on my phone to deposit it without needing to physically go to the bank. Last week, however, I had hit my monthly limit for deposits using my phone. (Believe me, this is not a regular occurrence! Several different checks just happened to arrive at the same time. One of them was the royalty check from a book I published in 2019. In three years my 10% cut of the profits on that book have now reached a grand total of $34, almost enough to buy a copy of that book at retail price of $35!). I know that going to the bank used to be a regular part of my routine, first actually going into the branch and then eventually shifting to the drive-through. It’s been quite some time since I needed to do it regularly, though. It felt like a real challenge to figure out how to add in this extra step. For a moment I found myself wondering, “who has time for this?”
We fill our time, by I’m not sure that we use it well. The world around us drives relentlessly towards greater efficiency. We think that being more efficient with our time will make us happier. Many of us have bought into the idea that more conveniences will give us more free time and make us happier. The evidence is pretty solidly against that theory. We just make ourselves busier, and think that getting many things done is a mark of living life well even as it wears us out. We think we are using our time well, but we are not.
I got home from my errands and work of the day, including going through the bank. I got home to sit down at the computer and take care of some emails that needed replies. As soon as I sat down, one of my cats jumped in my lap and curled up on my chest for a nap. As much as I wanted to get things checked off my to-do list, I couldn’t help but think that the cat had a much better sense of how to use time well.