Thursday, March 04, 2010

Conquering Time, or Notice that He Wasn't Called Alexander the Late

Time. Why does it seem that there is never quite enough of it? These days I have so many different areas of life that want snippets of my time, which makes me feel a bit like Bessus after he met Alexander*--pulled in too many directions. And like Bessus, sometimes the end result is painful. Worse, I suppose, is to be paralyzed by all the demands on my time. I frequently see that defect in my students, where they become immobilized by the quantity of choices: what should my thesis be? Which piece of art do I submit? Which college do I choose? Which hamburger do I pick?

Oh wait, that last stumper would be the one that plagues me.

I'm not denying the importance of some of the decisions--it's just that some aren't as life changing as others. And some of those decisions just affect our time. Do I stop to read the early history of Bactria? Is it essential to my knowledge of Alexander? Or would it just be an enjoyable diversion? Too many choices, too few hours.

Even my normal night owl routine is wearing thin, leaving me thinking that proskynesis may not be such a bad thing, if it just meant I could catch a few extra winks. How long will it take me to draw that horse example for class? How many maps of ancient empires do I need to look at before I find the one I need? Does my family really need to eat again tonight?

Yes, I suppose they do. And yes, I should be looking at yet more unhelpful maps in the search for the one that will make everything clear. I suppose part of the reason why there are so many demands on my time is that I care about the quality of the things I set out to accomplish. If I didn't care it would be easy to just take the shortcut. Perhaps it's that restless spirit that wants to explore and share it all, just like the Macedonian king who couldn't be satisfied. At least I don't have to take care of the whole kingdom. There's a greater One who does that.

*That would be in Plutarch's account. Great reading that Plutarch--if I just had more time...

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Very enjoyable blog post my friend. I wish I'd had a teacher like you. Caring, creative, imaginative, dedicated, driven. You probably make your subjects so interesting that the kids actually look forward to class. Imagine that! When are you going to teach creative writing too?