For many, summertime connotes endless swimming, trips to the beach, cold lemonade and dripping ice cream cones. But for Jews, summer also means longer Shabbat afternoons, vacant hours ready to be filled. Traditionally, the time is spent studying Pirke Avot, passages of mishnah that offer life advice: how to be a leader, cultivate a righteous life, rise as a student and become a contributing human being. Passages that are often skipped because of the common refrain, “there’s never any time.”
“Making time” is a somewhat egotistical human concept. We inherited a calendrical construct. A single day has 24 hours. 60 minutes within each hour. We cannot escape the day or night but do hold the privilege of rearranging our priorities. What gets first billing when you rearrange your day? Quality time spent with loved ones? Improvement of your soul? Learning for the sake of building, wondering, loving? Or do all these things grow dust…because we haven’t figured out how to “make the time?” Are you one that counts down their days or chooses to make each day count?
Hillel reminds us, “Do not say when I have leisure, I will study, for you may never have leisure.” (Pirke Avot 2:5) Stephen Covey teaches, “The key is in not spending time, but investing in it.” Grasp this very moment, right now, and declare what you will do to invest in yourself. To invest in that which always seems to take a backseat.
Trust me; in doing so, it will be time well-spent.
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also read Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.