• Repair Yourself, Repair the World (Photos - Pexels & U.S. Air Force photo, Sarah E. Shaw).

      Repair Yourself, Repair the World (Photos – Pexels & U.S. Air Force photo, Sarah E. Shaw).

      How many of you feel like you don’t really have the time to do what you want or need to do?

      By Tera Landers

      Yesterday, a friend of mine said, “Time bullies us.”

      Time bats us around, this way and that. A common response to “How are you?” is “Busy!” We rush off to do this, to do that. It’s hard to find those moments where we can reconnect to what is important to us. Hopefully, you are able to find an hour or a moment that is yours, and yours alone.

      A colleague, Rev. David Pyle, recently wrote about this feeling of busyness. And he determined that his problem wasn’t “time management” but “energy management.”

      He noticed that even with more time than he ever had before, he felt unable to meet all the expectations. He found himself unable to do all of the things that he expected of himself. At times, he stared at the task list on his computer, knowing that he had the time for the items … but he did not have the energy.

      I’ve thought a lot about the idea of energy management, especially as it pertains to those of us who identify as activists or environmentalists.

      If I were to ask you to name something about our planet that is in need of healing, you could. Immediately. And likely your response wouldn’t be a policy-based, numerical heady recitation. You would recount something personal from your own life, something you’ve seen destroyed, or chipped away. Something that fills you with despair.

      Respecting nature (Photo - i.imgur.com).

      Respecting nature (Photo – i.imgur.com).

      Growing up, I used to play in Jackson Stream. I’d have to go through the woods, up and over big mossy stones to get there. The stream meandered along, curving around trees and tall grasses, hidden away from the road. It was like a fairytale land to me.

      A few years ago, I wanted to see if the stream was as magical as I remembered. The next time I visited my parents’ home, I searched for it. To my surprise – the stream was gone. The woods had been cut down and the fields bulldozed to make room for houses. My heart hurt, seeing the land mauled in that way.

      Mine isn’t a unique story. It seems like weekly, there are accounts from around the world of wild places slipping away or another animal becoming extinct.

      How can we manage our energy to deal with that painful reality? We have long lists of things we have to do just to maintain our lives the way they are. We’re supposed to save the planet, too?

      This wayFrederick Buechner reminds us that “To find our calling is to find the intersection between our own deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger.”

      In today’s world – that is a radical idea. To put aside the identity of consumer, to realize you are enough, and get in touch with the values that make your heart sing and help move our earth toward healing and wholeness. Each and every one of us can make a difference through how we choose to live our lives. Even small actions matter.

      As we prepare for Earth Month, make a decision. Stop letting time bully you. Build space into your schedule. Allow an extra 10 or 15 minutes for meetings, for transition times from point A to point B. Maybe you take something out of your routine, something that wasn’t life-giving or life-enhancing for you or your family. Do this so you are better able to manage your energy. Do this so you can name and claim your own deep gladness, so you can meet the deep hunger out there and continue the life-long process of repairing the world.


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