February 2, 2015

Dear Friends and Family of the Diocese of Eau Claire,

We tend to think that God’s greatest gifts to us are money or perhaps land, homes, or possessions. While acknowledging that these things are important, I believe his most precious gift is time. As life advances we instinctively know that time is a diminishing resource, so how can we use what we have left effectively?

First, it is good to respect and honor “unproductive” time. These are the sections of the day when we collapse on a sofa and watch a favorite television show. This is an unwinding time, and our tendency is to feel guilty about it. Don’t do that. Unproductive time is necessary. It allows the mind to go into neutral and from the release of focus spontaneity emerges.

Second, try to respect tangential thinking. Sometimes this is dismissed as daydreaming. I prefer to think of this as a time when God is taking me somewhere. Even while celebrating the Holy Eucharist, God has led me off on tangents. I have learned that he wants special time with me, so I need to oblige him. Frequently I return with new insights.

Third, know what part of the day you are most productive and use it. I am a morning person. It is my best time for reading or writing. When you know that morning or afternoon or evening is your best time of functioning, try to plan around that strength.

Fourth, understand time in terms of priority. Some things are important and need attention. Other matters can wait. Some stuff is a drag and waste of time. Tackle the most important issues first.

Finally, take time out to be still and be with God. Prayer is first listening to God. What we vocalize in prayer requests is actually a response. Taking time to be with God can be the quiet of being alone in a chair, but it can also can take place as part of a walk or driving a car when all you are hearing is the hum of the motor. By letting God into your life, he can help you with priorities and the best use of your time. Enjoy! With my love and best wishes, I am,

Your brother in Christ,