He makes the contention therein that we are all much too busy in this modern world. For this reason, we all need to have some down time. Specifically, he writes about the importance of incorporating leisure time into our lives…
“Leisure,” from the Latin, means “to be free.” Leisure is anything that restores you to peace while you are doing it. So, gardening, golf, reading, puzzles, and many other things can restore us to peace as we do them.
But then he carries his thoughts further.
Another cousin of leisure is the word “paragon.” This little-used word means “the second thing that we do in life that keeps the first thing in tune.” Hence, our work may draw energy from us, and we have then a “paragon,” a leisure thing we do in order to restore us.
But, alas, for many today, finding time for leisure is all but impossible. Our busy schedules simply will not allow for imposition of anything additional, even if that addition is time off for refreshment and renewal.
Thus, he fittingly admonishes us:
Most often, to build toward leisure demands that we disassemble something else. In Thomas Moore’s book Meditations, he tells of a pilgrim walking along a road. The pilgrim sees some men working on a stone building.
“You look like a monk,” the pilgrim said.
“I am that,” said the monk.
“Who is that working on the abbey?”
“My monks. I’m the abbot.”
“It’s good to see a monastery going up,” said the pilgrim.
“They’re tearing it down,” said the abbot.
“Whatever for?” asked the pilgrim.
“So we can see the sun rise at dawn,” said the abbot.
As the year 2016 dawns, what is it in your busy life that is keeping you from experiencing the glory and goodness of God? And thus, what is it that you may need to tear down or otherwise remove from your busy life?
SOURCE: Richard A. Wing, Deep Joy for a Shallow World (CSS Publishing, 1997).
SEE ALSO: Thomas Moore, Meditations: On the Monk Who Dwells in Daily Life (Harper Perennial Publishing, 1995).