I smiled the first time I saw the empty jug my husband had placed under a leaky faucet before we had time to fix it. That tap only dribbled a drop every 15 to 20 seconds. Yet when I needed cooking water a little later, a full gallon of that water was waiting nearby. Those drops added up, and it felt good to put them to use.
I was reminded that lots of things, including activities and plans and commitments, may not seem like much on their own but add up over time. When a friend shared vegetables from her garden, I realized there was a factor in their healthy growth I’d never been savvy — or disciplined — enough to grasp. I’d avoided thinning my plants and, as a result, hadn’t reaped the benefits that the discernment and choice of thinning requires. Things add up, and can dwarf or glut our lives, and our time, when we don’t make choices.
I had an epiphany about this when I saw a friend ‘s to-do list on which she never plans more than a third of her waking hours. When I asked why, she said, “How else can I leave room for the unexpected, or spontaneity, or even the chance to change my mind?”
“But what about the things you need to do?” I protested.
“Well, who decides that?” she asked, reasonably enough.
Like that jug under our faucet, she reoriented my perspective about the power of awareness, and choice. Attention, time, and energy are resources that reappear in each of my days. But they are not their own stewards.
Adapted from Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details: