“Be Still and know that I am God.”
Philip Yancey writes that this familiar verse in Psalms contains two commands of equal importance. “First, I must be still, something that modern life conspires against. Ten years ago I responded to letter within a couple of weeks and kept my correspondents happy. Five years ago I faxed a response in a couple of days and they seemed content. Now they want email responses the same day and berate me for not using instant messaging or a mobile phone. Mystery of another world, an emphasis on being rather than doing, even a few moments of quiet do not come naturally to me in this hectic, buzzing world. I must carve out time to allow God to nourish my inner life.”
When a journalist asked Thomas Merton to diagnose the leading spiritual disease of our time, the monk gave a curious one word answer: efficiency. Why? “From the monastery to the Pentagon, the plant has to run….and there is little time or energy left over after that to do anything else.”
I am guessing most of you can relate. The amount of stuff we feel that we have to get done seems endless. More often than not, it seems that we just keep taking on more and more. We feel we must continually do more and do it faster. The thought of doing less sounds good, but usually is quickly discarded with a “yeah, right” kind of attitude. It seems that activity, busyness and constant action in both our work life and home life is what is applauded. We all constantly complain about how busy we are, but I think we secretly want others to praise us for it.
What gets squeezed out in this kind lifestyle? Time with your kids? Time with God? Time to rest? Time to think? All of the above?
As you plan and prepare for next year, pray over the verse above and ask God to show you what you can do to have more balance in your life and how you can say NO to something that will allow you to be more of a “human being” instead of a “human doing.