“Killing Time”

For this week, with the RAs moved onto the floor and all of you soon to follow, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on how we use our time as we ready ourselves for what is sure to be a busy, challenging, and enlivening time.


I’ll offer one of my favorite prayers/reflections, “An Examination of My Use of Time”, by Leo Rock, SJ.

An Examination of My Use of Time

Killing Time
How do I kill time?
Let me count the ways.

By worrying about things
over which I have no control.
Like the past.
Like the future.

By harboring resentment
and anger
over hurts
real or imagined.

By disdaining the ordinary
or, rather, what I
so mindlessly
call ordinary.

By concern over what’s in it for me,
rather than what’s in me
for it.

By failing to appreciate what is
because of might-have-beens,

These are some of the ways
I kill time.

Jesus didn’t kill time.
He gave life to it.
His own.

—Leo Rock SJ
(from Hearts on Fire: Praying with the Jesuits)

Take the time this week to reflect specifically on the lines,

“By disdaining the ordinary
or, rather, what I
so mindlessly
call ordinary.”

What do you consider ordinary? How can you force yourself to be present enough to notice each thing? How can you take the time to see, instead of merely to look, to listen, instead of simply to hear?

We must take the time to look for the details that give life, meaning, and importance to each and every thing we do. When we take the time to realize and recognize the singularity, beauty, or even divinity intrinsic to each and every thing, the ordinary disappears.

Consider trying this some time. Author Ken Kesey describes what he calls a ‘now trip’. Simply sit somewhere — preferably somewhere you are very familiar with — and quickly use the phrase “Now I hear/see/smell/taste/feel/think…[ ] to describe whatever comes to your senses. Don’t think about it, just say the first thing that comes to mind, as quickly as possible. If you let your self be fully absorbed by the exercise, you’ll be surprised just how many things are so close to you, but that you so rarely notice, let alone acknowledge.

“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises” — Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I’ll see you all soon! Make the most of the rest of summer!

ad majorem dei gloriam

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