|Bobby has devoted his life to working on behalf of others. That’s why an exchange he had with a doorman in Morocco stopped him in his tracks.
The doorman, who was trying to grab my restless brother a car, turned to him and said, “We have time here. Not like you in America. You have no time, so you do not live.”
This really made my brother stop (a huge feat, by the way). “You have no time to live. Make your time yours,” he wrote to me from halfway around the world.
I share this with you today because I believe it to be deeply true. Time is our most precious resource, but very few of us use it as wisely as we could. We rush through our lives with our eyes on our phones, trying to get through one thing after another. We rush around trying to get somewhere that we think will make us happy. We rush around so much that in the midst of it all, we forget to actually live.
Do you make time to live? Time for yourself? Time for your friends? Time for your family? Or are you too busy?
I’m writing this early so I can go spend time with my other brother Timothy, who asked me many months ago to “spend time” with him. “Give me a weekend,” he said. “I want time with you.” So I did, and we are spending this weekend at a retreat in New Mexico with Fr. Richard Rohr and others. (I’ll write about that next week.)
On this Palm Sunday leading into Holy Week, I hope you take some time for reflection, intention and rest. I hope you take some time to decide whether you are you so busy with everything else in your life that you have forgotten those closest to you, maybe even yourself.
That brings me back to my brother Bobby. Two months ago, he moved away from Los Angeles, which is where he had lived for more than 20 years. He packed up his life and his family and left.
At first, I was angry because I felt like he was leaving me behind (I know that sounds selfish, but it’s how I felt initially). Then I came to realize that what Bobby needed was time. Time for himself. Time to breathe. Time to recalibrate. Time away from LA. Time, perhaps, to save the life he had skipped over on behalf of others. I pray that he finds the time to live the life he is seeking.
Today at The Sunday Paper, we hear from others who have taken the time to listen to their own hearts and forge a different path forward. May their stories and their advice help you think about how you can do the same. And if you already have, I want to hear from you. How have listened to your heart? How have you made time for yourself? How have you made time to live?
All of this brings me to my favorite poem by my friend Mary Oliver, “The Journey” (you can read an excerpt below). She reminds us that there’s only one life you can save: your own. So start there. If you have time after that, go for it. But make what you do with your time matter. Make it meaningful. You only have so much time here on earth. Take time to live your life. I’m passing on the omen from a world away. I hope you have time to think about it.