My other job is working at a youth soccer club in the area where I help organize a recreation league. One of my favorite parts of this job is getting to know the different folks who work for the club. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Bryn who joined the staff at the beginning of March 2020. Byrn is 63 years old, born in England but has lived in the States for almost 25 years now.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to his story and listening to some of his thoughts on youth soccer in our area and America as a whole. But he said something that I haven’t stopped thinking about the last 4 or 5 weeks since that day. We were talking about another staff member who we both have a lot of respect for and really appreciate and after he told me a story about a recent interaction with him, Bryn said “I’ve got a lot of time for him.”
I’ve worked with a lot of British guys at the club and have heard several unfamiliar phrases and even used several of them when I coached, but that was a new one for me. I’m not even totally sure it is a British saying, but that’s what I’m rolling with.
At that moment I remember thinking that I really like that phrase, but it wasn’t until later when I started thinking about it more that I started to unpack how much I really liked it. He is literally saying that he will drop what he is doing for him, but what he is really meaning to say is that this person matters to him. What that guy has to say, who he is and what he is about matters.
Tell me what you spend the most time doing and I’ll tell you what matters the most to you. Show me what you will rearrange your schedule around for and that will be something that matters quite a bit to you. The two have a direct correlation. You may not think or want those things to be what matters most to you, but the way you live your life and the decisions that you make prove what you choose to matter in your life and by default what does not matter in your life.
I recently read a relatively speaking light-hearted, yet very interesting, article about quarantine. It made the point that what happened last year isn’t really unprecedented, it is just more or less a once in a lifetime event. The last similar event being the Great Depression. Obviously these are very different things, but that was the last time that all of a sudden a large portion of the population had a lot more free time on their hands for an extended period of time. The focus of the article was primarily about hobbies that have stuck from the depression era such as playing games and birdwatching.
That got me thinking about how we as a society, local community, individual families and even individuals have had a remarkable opportunity to hit a reset button. Even those of us whose lives really weren’t that affected by the pandemic can say that our lives look different today then they did in February 2020 because of what has happened due to COVID.
Why would we want a reset? If we were honest with ourselves and looked at what we spent our time doing before the pandemic, what we said or thought mattered to us may not have been what we spent our time doing. We may have said that God and our family were the most important things in our lives, but if our quiet time, church on Sunday, small group, family time, and that ball game or school play your kid or nephew or niece were in seemed to always be the things that kept getting bumped for the other stuff, maybe that other stuff actually mattered more.
Things are starting to get back in small ways to what they were just over a year ago. More kids are back in school more often, restaurants can seat more people, youth sports leagues have more kids participating than we did before COVID, and churches are letting more people back in their buildings. But we still aren’t back to normal or at least whatever post-pandemic life will look like. We still have time to evaluate what mattered pre-pandemic, in the midst of the pandemic and what we want to matter to us post pandemic. If we haven’t hit it yet, we still have time to hit that reset button.
I’ve got a lot more time for my family lately then I used to. Oddly, I’ve got a lot more time for chickens today then I used to. But most importantly, I’ve got a lot more time for God today then I used to. I hope and pray that what we desire and hope to matter most to us in our lives are the things that we have a lot of time for.