I use an electronic diary. My life is synchronised between my phone and my computer, so that in theory both of them know what I should be doing. There are disadvantages to electronic diaries compared to paper. Paper does not crash (but it can burn). Paper pages can be easier to turn (but you can’t search by subject). Paper is tangible and you can write notes in the margins (electronic is amendable without crossing out and you don’t need to remember a pen).
On balance I am happy with the electronic diary. One of the things I like is that you can adjust the view from one day right up to a whole year. I had a shock this week when I looked at my week view on the screen. There are almost no blank spaces between when I am supposed to wake up and when I am supposed to go to bed. That is scary. That is unhealthy. That is unsustainable.
Next week there are LOTS of blank spaces at the moment, which is good. I intend to take advantage of some of them to be recreated. I also plan to use some of them to visit people I have not been able to see for a while because there have been no blank spaces in the diary. And I plan to try to sort out some admin that has been put to one side for a while, awaiting a blank space in the diary. I know that these things could be put into the diary and take up some of the blank spaces, but at the moment it is therapeutic for me to look at the blank spaces and imagine what God might want me to do with them. They are an offering to him.
Where are the blank spaces in your life? No, not in your head! Where are the spaces when anything could happen? Where are the moments when you can stop, pause, reflect, wait, listen? No, not your holiday. I know that this week is unusual and that it is unsustainable in the longer term. Unusually busy weeks are okay, but unless I have blank spaces in my weeks the opportunities to reflect, to listen for God and to pause are diminished. I tend to blog if I have a blank space. (Today I have stolen the time from preparing for something else!)
Be blessed, be a blessing.
Talking about spaces…
A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn’t find a space anywhere. So he put a note under the windscreen wiper that read: “I have circled the block 100 times. If I don’t park here, I’ll miss my appointment. FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES.”
When he returned, he found a parking fine along with this note. “I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job. LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.”