Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Living faster than ever before and enjoying it less? Millions of people are like that, living in a pressure cooker environment, packing more and more into every day, but liking it less. Whatever makes life worth living–the leisure walk through the woods, the time to sit and play with your baby, a candlelight meal with your husband, time to read and reflect–are all swallowed up by the monster of doing more and more in less time.
How much is enough? Take inventory for a few moments.
The book, Thirty-Second Bedtime Stories for Parents Who Don’t Have Time is really the tale of our lives. Check out the self-help books online and count the number of books that include the “One Minute” term in the title, like One Minute Devotional Thoughts for Executive on the Go, and so forth.
James Gleick, author of Faster: The Acceleration of Everything, contends that we speed up because we can, because doing more and more in less time gives you a visceral, adrenalin-like rush that makes you feel like you’ve had several cups of cappuccino. He says we rush so that we won’t be left behind. If you are not out there making your quota, covering your bases, you can be replaced in a soft job market where those who are in the slow lane are sent to the back of the line permanently.
Let’s face it. Today almost everything is accelerating–how fast you drive or fly, how much you are able to do, how many responsibilities you bear, and how far you hit the ball. Take almost any given industry, field, or sport, and the records which were established even a generation ago have been broken and broken and broken yet again.
I am not altogether convinced that the ability to do more and more in less and less time results in more lasting achievements, more great books and ideas, and more gold in the pan at the end of the dredging. Slowing down may result in your accomplishing more that is lasting and worthwhile, to say nothing of being a better mom or dad, a more relaxed friend, and someone whom the spirit of God can direct and use.
There are some decisions which only you can make, and that includes when you say no, what you can do and cannot do, and when to refuse to take on one more activity which takes you away from your family.
Prioritizing your goals is something which means you have to place value on certain things and realize that the tyranny of the urgent is an enemy that keeps you from being in charge. The reality is that the good is the enemy of the best in life, and without taking charge of your life, you’re going to be on the downhill run, panting harder and harder, ending up more weary at the end of the day.
No wonder the Bible says, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom,” (Psalm 90:12).
The reality is that there is only so much sand in the hourglass of time. There is no going back, no replay to see your child take his first step because you were not there, no second chances to be at your son’s game, or to hold your wife’s hand and celebrate your anniversary.
Wisely a brother prayed, “Slow me down Lord, slow me down. Ease the beating of my heart and the frustration of not getting things done. Help me know what the main thing is and keep it the main thing.”
Resource reading: Psalm 90.