Idle Hands

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.”
—Proverbs 16:27-29

I have to admit, getting a work trip cancelled and being able to stay home for an extra few days is friggin awesome!! It’s almost as if when I am in the middle of a long stretch of travel, I forget what it’s like to have a normal existence, eating dinner with my partner, walking my dog, and sleeping in my own bed.

I have a habit that is turning out to be quite a bugger to break. I add more and more to my plate until it is overflowing with appointments, commitments and calendar tasks, only to come to the realization of such a thing, and make a conscious effort to begin to pare down. Just as things start to reach some sort of normal human level of activity, I get anxious, and find more things that commit my time to at the expense of my own sanity.

Now don’t get me wrong, a lot of what goes on my calendar to cause the overflow are pretty noble things: spending time with my little brother, working with others at my church on leadership opportunities, and many basic needs I see in the world that I know I can help to make a difference in. So truly there isn’t a lot of fluff and frivolity that makes for an easy paring of obligations.

I know this to be true when those that I work closely with on volunteer projects and the like tell me (yes tell, not ask or suggest) that when my leadership term at church is up that I shouldn’t put anything in its place. And you know what? That’s not a bad idea at all.

Here’s the rub.

When there is time on my hands, I fear that I will go back to my old ways of nearly a decade past, when I would use my idol time, or more accurately schedule idol time, to snuff out reality and consciousness with what I know now to be poison to my body, mind and spirit. So there is a sense of fear and that old saying that ‘idol hands are the devil’s playground.’

And then I remember my truth, that is not who I am or who I choose to be anymore. So there is no need for fear of space for nothing, just being. As hard as that seems to me right now, and as difficult as I know it will be when I get it, saving room on that plate for a whole helping of nothing is exactly what I need to do.

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