Perhaps it’s the lack of intellectual stimulation, but I have a burning desire to read G.K. Chesterton. The depth & complexity of high school freshmen leaves my mind parched. It’s easy to be a deep thinker when I have nothing more than my thoughts to keep me company; those two hour train-rides from Cambridge to London, London to Shenfield and back again afforded ample time to ponder life, love, & other mysteries.
Looking back, twenty hours a week of pure reflection was my saving grace. I learned to view an inconvenient commute as a precious commodity. One cold morning around 6:00am, the train broke down, leaving a handful of sleepy passengers stranded (and bitter) – we had to get off the train & stand in the chilly drizzle. This was one of those small-town stations that had little more than benches & a cover to keep out of the rain. There was absolutely no way I could get to work – only two options remained: Sit and wait, or head to the other side of the tracks to take the next train back to Cambridge. Technically, I chose neither. I ended up riding trains back & forth for the entire day – never being able to make it into London. Oddly enough, a train car of strangers was more welcoming than “home”.
I literally sat and did nothing but think. Forest Gump had the right idea – I thought about where I was going, where I’d been; places I’d walked in the company of others, and places I walked alone. This particular February day in England serves as a lasting reminder that not having enough time can never be a valid excuse. Make the time.
The day I’m too busy to sit on the couch and watch Pixar with Mark will be the day I stop serving my purpose. When I’m too busy devouring a piece of literature to chew on one verse of scripture, I reject True Love (even if it is Chesterton or Manning…). I pray I never become so busy shuttling kids between little league & ballet that I can’t find time to splash in puddles and catch butterflies.