Running Errands

    I get one day off every single week.  It is a day of rest.  A day of play with my children whom I love.  Sometimes, I take my wife out into our great city and we dine somewhere hip.  I write, I do home projects, I catch up on the bills.  And once in a great while… I will take a nap.  Naps.  Sleep is a gift from on high.  And I am grateful for it.

    But on many days off there are errands to be done.  A bunch of little things that don’t get done in the midst of a work week.  Take the car in for an oil change.  Run some packages to the Post Office.  Grocery shopping.  Christmas shopping.  Pick up the dry cleaning.  Take in a watch for repair.  You know… the little things.  And those little things can eat up hours.  Hours of time going here and there and everywhere.  

    It is easy to curse such errands.  To call these chores a “waste” of time.  The driving, the waiting, the driving again.  It is easy to get frustrated by the lines, the traffic, the forgotten form that you have to go back and get to bring back to the Secretary of State.  But this time being spent to get the things done, it can be redeemed.  It does not need to be a waste.  

    1) Think.  Sometimes, in the midst of my running of mindless errands, I just use the time to think through life.  It is just working my way through the last few weeks, preparing mentally for the week ahead.  I think about the best way to tackle an upcoming challenge, or maybe just take time to feel the feelings that I ran past too quickly.  It is good to have inner silence and just untangle the knots.

    2) Share.  Other times, I do my errands with someone.  So the errand becomes secondary.  Whatever errands need to be run are not the point.  The goal is to be spend some time with someone I care about.  Today, I get to run errands with my wife.  I have called up my brother and asked if he wants to ride shotgun to go run somewhere with me.  The sell is not teh place we are going, but going there together.  I enjoy redeeming the time this way.

    3) Connect.  I have old friends all over the country.  If I got a long drive somewhere, I’ll call up a buddy who’s voice I have not heard in a while.  I’ll call Chicago, or California, or Texas.  And I’ll catch up with a brother for a few minutes.  Honestly, the laughter makes the drive go by too quickly.  I don’t want to see good friends become old friends, and this time between errands keeps the fires burning.

    4) Sing.  There is a song in my heart.  It is there deeper than how I feel or what I am doing.  Sometimes I turn the radio up loud and I belt it out.  I imagine there are plenty of people who have driven past my car and laughed at the Mexican going to town on a worthy jam.  For me, my loudest songs are sung to Jesus.  There are times I want to just declare my loyalty to my king.  So I sing.  I actually have playlists for many different purposes.  I have “Lost Disciple,” a playlist for when I feel lost in life.  There is the Addiction playlist, when those I love have been once again consumed by the sin that so easily entangles.  I have “Don’t Give Up,” a playlist I play when I bruised and battered from the work of the ministry.  There is “Heaven,” songs to remind me of the home I have only dreamed about.  

    5) Pray.  A car is a great prayer closet.  With the radio off and the car empty, a car is a perfect place for silence and solitude.  There is a God in heaven.  And He is listening.  And He is speaking.  Will we speak?  Will we listen?  

“Look carefully then how your walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”