By Drew Shriner | Staff Writer
Hello, friends, and welcome to Croc Thoughts. This is the first installment of a new bi-weekly column. In this space, I hope to offer a few thoughts about a question that I am being challenged by. More specifically, I hope to create a space to think about the impact of faith on the daily life of a Taylor student and to offer more questions than answers. Of course, I hope that my thinking will provoke you, the reader, to think for yourself. A note of explanation about the title of this column: this column is mostly my thoughts, I like to wear my Crocs Black Baya Clog shoes, and the assonance sounded fun.
This week, I would like for us to think about leisure. As Rev. Laura A. Smit mentioned during her Oct. 31 chapel message, the classical notion of leisure was related to learning. Reading, writing, music, art, math - all of these were considered leisure. These things are what we, as students, spend a majority of our time doing, and to us these things feel much more like work.
By the time we finish a day of studying, our brains are exhausted, so we spend our evenings watching Netflix, playing video games or pursuing other activities that are less "life-giving" and more distracting than others. Some students do not even have that luxury because we spend our evenings doing the homework that we procrastinate during the day.
However, I believe that this is the wrong way for us to approach our leisure time.
I believe that even after factoring out meals, school work and sleep, which are all necessary, and extracurricular activities, which feel necessary, Taylor students have a surprising amount of free hours.
I believe that what we do with this free time says a lot about what we value.
Let me add that this is something that I have struggled with all semester. I think I have lied to everyone that has asked about how much FIFA I play because I am embarrassed by the number of hours wasted.
Now, I have often defended my own use of time on certain things because they are "restful." Far too often, however, I have let those "rests" cut into my real rest (i.e. sleep). Instead, I want to start using that time to pursue things that I find life-giving. I do not want to spend those hours getting distracted from life but learning about life. I want to use my leisure time to grow, especially in those areas which are neglected during my "work" (i.e. school).
Pursuits like training my body, listening to good music, watching film (instead of watching movies - maybe I'll talk about the difference another week), writing, learning about other subjects, spending quality time with God - these are the things that I want to pursue.
Now that's of course easier said than done. I decided to do these things many times this semester. . . and then immediately fell back into my worse routines. But, I refuse to let that discourage me.
I do not mean to suggest that we all need to pursue the same things with our leisure time. We all have diverse interests, and that is what makes being in community so exciting. We get to learn from one another about all sorts of things.
I do, however, think that we all need to consistently ask ourselves if we are spending our leisure time as well as we want to be. I hope you will join me in asking.