This past week's Lenten challenge in our church's "Taking Stock" series was taking stock of our time, and I have to admit, I was just no good at this one.
Oh, I take stock of my time, alright, in a super-organized, Type A sort of way. I use an online time tracker (Yast.com) to keep track of the hours I spend on various work projects (especially important now that I'm freelancing and paid by the hour, in some cases) and I write things in my planner even after the fact so that I have a record of how I spent my time. But the specific challenge this last week was to carve out ten minutes for prayer and devotion each day, and I have to admit that more days than not, I just forgot.
I pray a lot, in that I talk to God throughout the day and try to live ever-mindfully of God's presence and will for our lives, but I really struggle to sit down and focus only on prayer for a period of time. To stay focused, I generally need a pencil in hand, to underline lines of scripture that strike me as I read it, or to write and sketch my prayers creatively. Judging from these two extremes, it seems I have trouble just doing "nothing." What a shocker. I can go about normal life prayerfully, or I can productively draw, write, annotate, etc. Just sitting and "being" in the presence of God is tough for me on an ordinary basis. When I think of times I am able to do that, it's generally when I've gotten "away from it all" in a cabin or whatnot, and sit in an Adirondack chair with a mug of coffee, just staring out over glorious hills and trees.
This week is "taking stock of our relationships," being mindful of the people we come into contact with each day and the health of each of those relationships, particularly any anger or grudges we may need to let go of.