Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Choice of Time

This morning I woke up with a choice.  Actually, I went to sleep with a choice hanging over my head. This evening there is a worship concert that I've been wanting to attend.  A worship group that I've been hoping to see for a couple of years (yes, years!) is finally touring the US and I have an opportunity to go worship with them.  Okay, I know it sounds like another concert.  That's part of where choice comes in.

Firstly, I'm busy with work. Aren't we always? My head flip flops between the importance of a few more minutes I might be able to accomplish something with the joy of recreating.  This is all tied in with my concern that if I leave work early, what will people think? Am I setting a bad example?  Will my client think I'm not "putting in the time"?  It's only a few minutes, and it's not like I don't work a ton anyway.  Surely they can understand, right?

On the other hand, this is more than a concert to me.  It is an opportunity to worship.  Something I treat as precious and valuable. Should the perceptions from work, or any of that even matter?  If my faith means as much to me, shouldn't I sacrifice anything to keep it healthy?  Obviously, that is subjective argument.  No more so than the arguments for work/life balance, getting enough sleep, or eating your vegetables.

Anyone who knows me would agree that I have a pretty solid work ethic.  This is solely thanks to my remarkable parents.  At first blush, this seems to be coupled in my angst about maintaining my work ethic.  Juliet Schor writes about this topic in Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure.  Since its release there have been numerous other studies that speak on this same topic, but one thing is sure.  We are working harder and longer.  My own life is no exception.

What was needed to shake me up this morning was to take a point from Mary and just be quiet and listen.  My spiritual health, my mental health, these are non-negotiable.  What sacrifices those, must be sacrificed.

I guess I know my choice.

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