When will you ever learn from your mistakes boy you gotta try
Deadlines and progress
Just being honest
You can do what you want with your time
I don’t wanna waste mine
No, I don’t wanna waste mine
- Needtobreathe, Wasting Time
Last week we concluded the Christmas season and have officially moved into Ordinary Time within the Church's liturgical calendar. Candidly, prior to last week I had assumed that this meant "non-special" times throughout the year.
However, our Church terms this time "ordinary" not because it isn't special, but because it is numbered in a sequential fashion. The Second Week in Ordinary Time. Thursday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time. The 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
This new understanding of Ordinary Time struck me: God has numbered our time. Instead of a feeling of discouragement, this left me encouraged. It inspired me. The time we have to do the work that God has called us to do has a limit.
In the high school environment, we only have our students for 4 years; even less with students who transfer after 9th grade. We only get 180 instructional days each year - actually even less when we factor in "non-instructional" days/moments with students - retreats, pictures, service projects, early dismissals, assemblies! There are only so many minutes in an instructional period, which also get squandered for announcement interruptions, classroom management issues, and a lack of preparedness.
Every moment matters. Each one is sacred, holy, incarnational and not just because they are limited but because they are the gifts from God.
That's why we call right now the present.
Let's make the most of our borrowed time (if you want to go deeper on this theme, you can check this post out: https://icscatholicedu.blogspot.com/2022/06/borrowed-time.html).
St. Josemaria Escriva popularized the heroic minute as getting out of bed precisely after your alarm sounds. In St. Josemaria's own words, the heroic minute is “the time fixed for getting up. Without hesitation: a supernatural reflection and… up! The heroic minute: here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body” (The Way, no. 206).
While I am infamous for snoozing, I have tried to extrapolate St. Josemaria's motto to include any moment of the day.
Send the email/text. Make the phone call. Take the stairs. Sing. Pray. Hold the door. Pick up trash. Smile. Repent. Forgive. Hug. Try again. Put down your device. Pick up your head. Live from your heart.
Respond to the whispers and promptings and urgings of the Holy Spirit and take action.
Today may be ordinary - numbered - but that is precisely why it is the perfect moment to be heroic.