instrumentality

Because I enjoy self-improvement thingies — books, seminars, email-a-day oojers — I recently signed up for a “stop procrastinating!” course. (They’re all courses, just in different formats.) I’m promised 90 lessons scaled to 5 minutes of my time each day. They arrive as emails, sometimes with lovely printables attached, and so far they are delivering according to promise: about 5 min of attention, focused on procrastination’s topics.

Here’s where it starts slopping around:
As an explicitly-practicing theologian*, I am Against Transaction. I have many, many thoughts about how we humans go sideways or dark when we interact, or assume others are interacting, in tit-for-tat ways. (Like when we think we /deserve/ stuff.) I believe God is a God of abundance, abundance that we can’t begin to imagine, and that when we live towards God’s Shalom (peace, wholeness, “when God gets what God wants”) we live in a human form of that abundance.

Soooo every time this person includes transaction-language — today’s example: ‘good wasting of time’ — I want to climb up on my soapbox and launch out:
Deploying time is part of our humanness! If it contributes to wholeness, it’s not wasted! Not all actions must yield “worth-while” outcomes! Productivity (economic valuation) is not my God; the Triune One is! I. Am. Not. (only!) An. Instrument. I am a wholeness made of smaller wholenesses and part of larger wholes… logics + emotions + body-ness + transcendence, together.

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This ranting might contribute to my wholeness. (Down with ratiocinative primacy! Play For All!) Though it might be me distracting myself.
More to the antiprocrastination point — for the most part, when I scroll social media I’m not contributing to my wholeness… and one of the reasons I signed up for these little snippets is because of that. It’s a way I deploy time (frequently, these last months) that barely refreshes and does nothing to relieve my building sense of activity-oppression — i.e., procrastination. Yet despite being consistently aware of this, I keep returning and returning to its staleness. What will shift me?

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Overall, these procrasti-nuggets are neutral or helpful. They’re keeping me mindful of how I’m flowing in time, or not. (As will the new time-log printable!)
And maybe my theology-rants are helpful insofar as they’re a place to continue to flex my seminary muscles. I’ve been missing my community and feeling a little lost without their anchors scattered across my days.

Now if I can just keep in good-enough heart to pursue my longer-range activities…


*I suspect many of you are implicitly-practicing theologians, since I use Dr. Cindy Rigby’s definition — a person putting together thoughts about God. Just in case you thought this was a rarefied activity I have going on!

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