It struck me just now as I’m beginning to write this blog at how much information is thrown at us at incredibly high speeds and volume. It gives me pause to say, “Thank you for taking the time to read this, as you have so many other things to read.” Since I know you’re busy, I’ll get right to the point.
I opened my email this morning and had at least a dozen other blogs from church leaders demanding my time and attention. Then I turned to Facebook, my nemesis yet needed friend, and scrolled through another dozen or so messages of apparent urgency and imposition. And then I opened the news app on my phone (bad decision) and therein saw multiple articles of political and global intrigue that may lead to the demise of civilization if we (whoever “we” are) don’t … act … now.
The older I get, the more I realize the verity of Charles Hummel’s maxim, popularized by Stephen Covey, “Don’t let the urgent take the place of the important in your life.” The demands on your time are real, urgent and important. But not all demands are all inclusive. My guess is that when the urgencies begin to pile up, what is truly important gets pushed into the already overcrowded margins of your life. The solution? More time, which we don’t have, so we think we need greater speed to accomplish greater things.
Our frenetic pace begins to wear down the ball bearings of our spiritual and emotional axles, which eventually leads us to a grinding halt. More speed does not always lead to quicker arrivals. It often triggers quicker collapse.
Gandhi once said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” And so there is.
In this season of the pandemic, economic uncertainty and political confusion, we want to move faster to get through our current malaise and back to “the way things used to be.” But what if God is wanting us to slow down in order to prepare us for the way things will be and not just for the way things used to be?
What if we need to read less but digest more? Spend less time on social media in order to be more social? Watch fewer Netflix series in order to watch more of our children and grandchildren?
Jesus said, “Come to Me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). This is not intended to be a perpetual state of rest, which would lead to atrophy, but a season of rest for renewal. Once renewed, we reenter the mission and life God gives us for the way things will be and not just the way they used to be.
“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9).