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If you are of a certain age, you'll remember the advertising catchphrase, and maybe even the tune: "There's always room for J-E-L-L-O!" I don't know that I ever gave it much thought, but the principle seemed to be that, for something so good, no matter how big the rest of your meal, you could always manage to get down just that little bit more as long as it was Jello.

It may have been a good marketing campaign, but as a guide for life it is a problem.

Sayings like "If you want something done, ask a busy person," and "If something is important to you, you make the time for it" are also a problem.

They are a problem because they imply that if we are not doing certain things (studying, reading, performing or attending ritual, building altars, writing prayers, etc.), any number of things that we or others think we should be doing, it is entirely a matter of choice. If it was really important to us to go to that Yule rite, we would be there. If we really wanted to fit in half an hour of devotional practice every day, we would do it. If we do not do these things, it is because we don't place enough importance on them. We feel ashamed, or perhaps others shame us, calling our limitations excuses.

And sometimes that point is valid--some folks don't go to festivals because there are non-spiritual things in their life that are more important to them (although really I figure that is their business as well, priorities are a personal thing). They don't make time to pray because they don't want to (also a personal thing in my opinion). Even given the time/energy/health/money, they would focus on other things.

But that's certainly not the case across the board, and I would not even attempt to guess as to someone else's reasons for doing or not doing whatever it is they do or do not do.

Time and energy, for most of us (I won't say all because I don't know you all), are finite. Only we know how much of each we have to spare.

Sometimes there is no time. There is no space. There is no energy. Sometimes there is no room.


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May 2017