I read an article that created a great deal of anxiety in me. It was entitled "If You Are 35, You Have 500 Days to Live." Subtract the time you will spend sleeping, working, and tending to personal matters such as hygiene, odd chores, eating, and traveling. In the next 36 years you have 500 days of leisure. If this world is all there is, then none of us should waste our time praying. We should literally be grabbing for all the gusto we can get.
We see precisely that all around us. Yet, as leisure time increases, so do the problems of emptiness, boredom, and restlessness. We have, as a culture, a frantic determination to relax, unwind, and have fun. Where an earlier generation may have been compulsive about work, we are compulsive about what we do with our leisure time. Martha has become the patron saint of American recreational life.
Of course, this affects the church. Activists that we are, we all feel there is so much to do and so little time to do it. A sign of our times, religiously, ...1