Today I have several unpleasant tasks to do; so, like many people, I am doing my best to put them off for as long as possible. Already this morning I have tidied a drawer that doesn’t really need tidying; I have had a long and silly conversation with the dog; I have rearranged the pots of seeds on their table; and as a final distraction, I have begun to blog about it all. When I do finally write that letter I don’t want to write and get down to that little bit of admin that I know will prove tiresome, I shall regret having put them off, but I won’t regret the things I have done in the interim.
Wasting time is a sin against poverty said Merton, with more severity than I think justified. The word ‘waste’ is connected with the Latin vastus. Its primary meaning is ‘unoccupied’ but it also has overtones of vastness. I think wasting time allows us a little space in which to take in the vastness of God’s creation. Surely that can’t be . . . a waste of time, can it?