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Time like tides

If our hours were salt water flowing over a shoreline then our to-do lists and interruptions would be the force of the waves, the tides that govern where that water goes, how it behaves and moves.

Ebbing and flowing.

Sometimes the tide is gentle - shushy waters lapping on the sand, barely big enough to call themselves waves – not that they care. Those are the peaceful days when time decompresses, when there is space in between each influx to deep-breathe sea air.

Other days it all comes crashing angrily towards us: the endless rush of things to do with our time, the concerns and worries that seem to roll in from nowhere, relentless. Challenges that come in too fast, while we’re still catching our breath after the last wave.

It’s the same water, running through our hands every day as we go about our work and life. It’s just the ‘tides’ of to-do lists, challenges and interruptions that change how it seems to go.

Sometimes those huge crashing waves of busyness are exciting. Sometimes we dive straight into them, exhilarated. But other days, the size of them threatens to pull away all our time with a noisy rattle of shingle. They threaten to overwhelm and we flail around, scared we might drown.

Over the past month or so all the waves in my life have been huge and crashing, a constant onslaught. I don’t always have the energy to dive right in. But there are gently lapping water days too, and more will come. That is the nature of tides.

We cannot control the waves and we often can’t control the interruptions that shape the waters of our days. But we can stop and think about who or what is governing our to-do lists. We can make sure we have enough gentle waters in our life so that we can cope with the big waves when they do come.

'All the days ordained for me were written in your book' Psalm 139


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