Friday, January 05, 2007

Do You Live Your Life Fully?

I've been thinking a great deal today about the fact that, in between my job interviews and the near-constant stream of resumes I've been sending out, I really haven't done much to utilize my time. Channel surfing and web browsing are okay temporarily, but there's no sense of accomplishment at the end of it all. Am I really maximizing my time -- albeit leisure time -- or could I be doing more?

And then, in the midst of this train of thought, I ran across this quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

"Time lost is time when we have not lived a full human life, time unenriched by experience, creative endeavor, enjoyment, and suffering."
Amazing how these things pop up when I least expect to find them. What do YOU do to fill your time and live the full human life to which Bonhoeffer is referring? For many of my regular visitors, I know the big things you do; what are some of the small things that make your life special -- a special place, a favorite author, hidden musical talent?


SusansPlace said...

I like to take my journal down out to the backyard gazebo. I write, I listen to the birds and the sound of the creek nearby.

I like to make tea and scones and little sandwiches and have tea time with my kids. When they were little, I had individual teas and listened to them chatter about legos and dogs and kid stuff. Now, we talk and laugh about more grown up things but it's still tea time with my kids.

I am fortuanate to live 10 minutes from a labrynth that is set in the middle of trees and a retreat center. I love to walk there.

I play the piano and enjoy banging out a few tunes, especially when under stress.

Writing letters or cards, instead of emails, makes life special for me and those receiving them.

These are a few little things. How about you?


SusansPlace said...

I thought of one more little thing. My husband and I took ballroom classes last fall and plan to take more in the spring. A little thing that has brought us closer.


Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

Good question, Matt...and really kind of an important one, too. Our leisure time may be our most important time. I play piano, guitar, I get up way early in the morning so I have God, me, coffee, and labrador time. I used to tat a lot, very calming. I read every chance I get. I call people and see what their prayer needs are.
This is a time for you,'re looking for a job, but I believe that God carves these times out for specific reasons...hence, your question! What does HE want you to do with your time?

Matt said...


When I lived in SW Virginia, I used to love to get in the car and drive up into the mountains. Being in Northern Virginia now, noe of my favorite methods of relaxation is to drive up to the National Cathedral and sit quietly off in one side. I have also been keeping a journal for 25 years, but as I get older I don't write in it as frequently (something that I want to improve upon this year). Story time with my daughter is always fun -- and to go along with that, she's now encouraging me and my wife to play with her little dolls (that's a role I'll have to work my way into).

I also love reading and music when I have the time (or, as I stated in my post, use the time I have available).....

- Matt

Matt said...


That's a really good question. I feel I'm drawn to do some deep theological study and thinking, and that's what I've been trying to do. Like you, I try and read as often as I can -- but during the past few weeks, job search issues have drained me. It's just going to take a strong commitment on my part to follow through on this....

- Matt

Margaret said...

I've really thought a lot about this post, Matt, and haven't been able to put my finger on much.

But something about connecting with other people seems to make life feel more full. This is ironic since I am an introvert and would love to stay home the rest of my life (some days, anyway).

Hope you find a stopper for your drain. That's not a good feeling, nor one that you want going on a long time.

Matt said...


Thanks for your comments. I definitely need to put the drain back in -- in just the past few weeks, I've gone from a sense of relief that I no longer have to deal with the chaos of working for the government to the current feeling of "When is someone going to hire me?" I know it's all in God's hands, and I'm very content with that. I think things will be much better in all of this down time when I get back into a good, healthy habit of reading and journaling.

- Matt

Margaret said...

Sounds like a great plan. I hope that you are able to make the space to do that reading and journaling. I know that can be challenging. Sometimes I have a hard time disciplining myself to do things that are important, like journaling.

So I hope that the space and energy come soon...

Kansas Bob said...

I think that life cannot be lived to the full alone. Unfortunately, many of us when we are with the ones we love don't have the courage to connect with them on a heart level because to do so would require a level of vulnerability and trnsaprency that scares us.

Hang in their Matt. I was sending resumes out for about 15 months a few years back (when I was between jobs) and know how difficult that journey can be.

Blessings, Bob

julieunplugged said...

Hi Matt.

So are you reading L&PP by DB?

I have taken on the challenge of a photo a day and can't believe how much it's given me a goal that is purely visual. I spend so much of my life using words that it is quite a change to think visually and allow the impact of color and shape and form to be my language. It's been wonderful and surprisingly rejuvenating.

I keep thinking you should start a 365 blog yourself.... :)

ipanema said...

There's nothing much one can do in a place I'm in. However, to make life worthwhile, there's always my dancing class. Sunday for tai-chi. But what I enjoy most is spending time with my children and watch movies together. :)

Matt said...

Julie: I've actually started reading the Bethge biography of Bonhoeffer, as well as The Cost of Discipleship. The quote I found elsewhere -- but I do have the Letters volume en route to me. And I think I am going to start a 365 blog; my daughter's birthday is today, so I think it's the perfect day to start.

Ipanema: I love spending time with my family, too -- and with a second daughter on the way one month from tomorrow, the fun is going to increase!

- Matt