Chapter OneIt's About Time
In an effort to more efficiently utilize my time, I recently purchased
a wireless Bluetooth earpiece that links to my cell phone,
thus enabling me to walk down the street conducting "hands-free"
conversations while also appearing to suffer from
Not only does this tiny earpiece increase my productivity,
but as an added bonus, complete strangers sometimes stuff a
few dollars in my hand and even give me part of their sandwich.
I love this gadget. Sadly, my wife Dale couldn't immediately
see the enormous benefits of my new device.
"What's that ridiculous-looking thing stuck on the side of
your head, and why is it flashing a blue light? You look like a
cyborg," she said, in a manner indicating I needed to reconsider
my plans to buy her a matching Bluetooth for her birthday.
"It's a state-of-the-art wireless communication device, my
love. Not only can I drive more safely, but I can continue my
'hands-free' conversation anywhere I would normally waste
time-the store, the gas station, weddings, you name it. No
more unproductive down time for the newly wired me!"
She rolled her eyes-an action which, curiously, often
accompanies the announcement of my latest great idea.
"Dave, you already carry around that irritating Blackberry
e-mail thing that's constantly buzzing on your belt. Do you have
to be working all the time? I can't believe you actually felt compelled
to read an e-mail message the last time we went out to
dinner. You're so type-A. What you call 'unproductive time' is
what everyone else calls 'the rest of your life when you aren't at
work.' I don't want all these 'productivity' objects to crowd out
the important down time we need. Even Jesus took time out."
I would have offered her some reassuring words, but in the
middle of her comments a call had come in on my Bluetooth,
so I caught only part of what she said.
you'd think women would be more understanding
"That sounds fine, Darin. Just make sure you send me a
hard copy," I replied, making hand motions to Dale so she
would understand I was on the phone. She frowned at me, but
for crying out loud, a guy can't have two completely different
conversations at the same time. You'd think women would be
"Okay," I told her at last. "I'm off the phone now. What
were you saying?"
"Dave, if you're going to add that thing to your mix of electronic
debris, just make sure you don't use it around me. Don't
use it in the house. Never, ever take it on a walk with me. When
you're with me, you need to be with me."
"Okay, okay," I agreed, suddenly realizing this was a big deal
Regrettably, I tend to be forgetful. A few days later I
walked in the house still chatting to the Bluetooth as I
wrapped up a call. Dale heaved a big sigh. Inasmuch as we
had a date to go out to dinner that night, I feared my little
slip-up didn't set a particularly positive tone for the evening.
But Dale was unexpectedly understanding.
"Dave, I've been thinking it over. I've decided you're right.
We have too much unproductive time, and it's robbing us of the
ability to accomplish important tasks."
"Really?" I asked, surprised.
"Oh yes," she replied. "For instance, we fritter away far too
much time on romance. We could be sending urgent e-mails,
and you could be having even more talks on your blinking little
earpiece. I was thinking we should start scheduling our intimate
sessions. What's Thanksgiving week looking like for you?"
"This is June!" I yelped.
"I was thinking perhaps sometime in the Fall, as long as
nothing else crops up," she mused, flipping through her planner,
which had way too many dates marked with a big black X.
"You know," I replied, biting my lip, "I was just thinking
I've been too busy lately. All work and no play makes Dave a
dull and obnoxious and very repentant boy who has learned a
valuable lesson from the dear wife God has given him, because
God understands that without your calming influence I become
a frantic and maniacal dolt."
When God wants to get my attention, He never calls me on
my Bluetooth. But He often speaks to me through my wife.