Do you ever find yourself staring at the food you're heating in the microwave and saying, through gritted teeth, "Hurrrryyyy uppppp!" I do.
We live such busy lives. From the time our feet hit the floor early in the morning to the time we lay our weary heads upon our pillow late at night, we go-go-go all day-day-day. We want fast food, fast wifi, and fast cars.
Maybe it's time to hit the brakes. But, how?
That's the question I pondered in today's chapel-a-day time. I'm giving up an hour of "my"
time each day of Lent and giving it back to God. I want to spend that time thinking and praying about what I can do to become a better person for God, for others, and for myself. Today, I realized that the first step is probably to hit the brakes.
Jesus knew the importance of that. In scripture, we're told that he often went off by himself to pray. Other times, he would stop what he was doing and take time to talk to someone who needed him. He advised his friend Martha to "slow down, already." (Loose translation!)
Granted, Jesus didn't have a cellphone that dinged every 3 minutes with a text, email, or Facebook notification. He didn't have a 9-5 job with a crabby boss who watched the clock, or children who needed to be carpooled to soccer or ballet...or both... at the same time. But, he did have places to go, people to see, and things to do... really important things. He still found a way to pace himself. Perhaps if we did the same, and started running our own lives, instead of letting our lives run us, we might find ourselves happier, healthier, and more spiritually fulfilled. Which brings me back to my earlier question: How? Well, I'm ruminating on that. But here are three things that might be worth considering.
1- How important (really important) are the items on our daily "to-do" list? Are we prioritizing them, or just cramming as much as we can into that list? What can we live/do without?
2- How much time do we spend each day with media- TV, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Google-surfing? What if we cut that time in half and spent it with real people and participating in real, rather than virtual, activities?
3- When's the last time we put down the smartphone, Ipad, or Kindle and actually read a book... you know, the kind with real pages that you can turn. I read a study (um... online) which concluded that the light that comes from computer screens and cellphones can increase your risk for disease and decrease your level of quality sleep. Maybe a good "page-turner" every now would be good for us. There's something calming about reading a book, or a devotional, or.. dare I say it? A few passages of scripture from the Bible.
Those are all good questions. But, my chapel time today led me to believe that the main question to ask is:
"What and who might I see if I slow down instead of racing from here to there and back again every day?" I'm going to work on finding the answer to that by, well... by hitting the brakes.
I'll let you know how it goes.