Waste Some Time

I spent 12 hours at the Chicago O'Hare Airport yesterday, en route to Des Moines. It turns out the computers were down at O'Hare, which meant my flight into the airport was delayed and then I missed my connection, as did thousands of people.

My husband continued on standby - but my son and I did not get on a flight until later that night. After having been up since 4 AM to meditate, I was exhausted.

I suppose some would look at that time spent in the airport and consider it wasted time. On the other hand - there was nowhere else I could go or be. So, my son and I enjoyed each others' company over margaritas and beer, and I was able to re-connect on the phone with a Chicago friend.

In many ways, yesterday was an invitation to live in the present moment. I found myself connecting to and talking to people in many lines I had to be in. I would never have met these people otherwise. Everyone was in the same boat, and most were simply making the most of it. People were friendly, and guards were let down.

Today, as I reviewed the suggested summer spiritual practices from the Brussats' website that I referred to a few days ago, I found this entry:


"It does no good to think moralistically about how much time we waste. Wasted time is usually good soul time," Thomas Moore has observed. Summer is just the right season for idleness and just messing around with things. Quit doing and revel in just being."

This was a good reminder for me of what I have always loved about summer, especially all those years I was an educator. The summers were times to simply be.

I used to tell my students when I was still teaching theology, that prayer was "the art of learning to waste time gracefully" - a definition I borrowed from Thomas Green, SJ.

Pay attention this summer to moments you may have to slow down, and waste some time!


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