This is not a reference to our Wing but to the phenomenon of the college basketball tournament that begins this week and will culminate in the Final Four and championship game in April. It’s mad, not in the sense of anger but intensity. Sixteen games on Thursday, sixteen more on Friday, a gradually shrinking field each week until only one is victorious.
Whether you’re a fan of basketball or not: the reality is, we as Americans spend a “mad” amount of time engaged in some kind of media whether it’s entertainment, news, or sports. Estimates vary but the latest I’ve seen say the average person watches about 5 hours of TV alone each day. That averages out to about 9 years of one’s lifetime. For most of us, 9 years will be more than 10 percent of our lives. In that amount of time Michelangelo could have painted two Sistine Chapels, John Milton could have written two Paradise Losts, and Lewis and Clark could have trekked across North America four times.
The question then becomes, am I making the most of my time and engaging in what’s truly important? In the book of Psalms in the Old Testament, David asks God to “teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.’ When we understand and reflect on how much time we truly have in this life and see how we use it, we become aware that we need to invest in the time we have wisely. Does my schedule truly reflect those things that are most important to me? How we live is a good indicator of what we believe. An examination of our outward life provides us with a view of the beliefs we operate from.
Faith, family and friends are often the most important and meaningful relationships and activities in our lives. How much time are you investing in these? In my faith tradition Easter is approaching, a huge event in the Christian calendar. We normally hit record attendance at church that weekend. But I often wonder where everyone is the other 51 weekends of the year. Where we spend our time says a lot about what we value.
March Madness is not bad. TV is not all bad. It’s often beneficial and provides needed downtime in our busy lives. But it’s an example of how we can spend unproductive time if we are not careful. I’ve read it takes 10,000 hours of practice for someone to become an expert in their craft. That’s over a year of nonstop practice. Imagine becoming an expert in 8 or 9 different things in the amount of time you spent watching TV over your lifetime. Let your “madness” be purposeful. One more thing: Go Aztecs!