Have you, at least once in the past week, told someone, “I’m tired”? One guy said, “I’m so tired that if my life was measured in dog years, I’d be dead.” I don’t even know what that means. One evening when my son was small, I brought home a thick briefcase and sat down at the dining room table to work. There was nothing brief about this case. My six-year-old son sat across from me, digging disgusting things from between table leaves with a fork. “Dad, whatcha doin?” he asked. I told him I had so much to do and there weren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. He said, “They should put you in a slower group.”
A slower group would be nice, wouldn’t it? As it is, the group we’re in is anything but slow, and the busyness is sucking the joy from our lives. I love cordless phones, but sometimes I wish someone would invent a phoneless cord. Others insist that we’ve arrived. Look at us. Technology, industry and commerce: all bursting at the seams. We now have a “Smart Mirror” that scrolls news headlines while you shave or dry your hair, and alarm clocks that regulate temperatures on electronic blankets and activate coffee makers. We never cease to amaze ourselves, do we? But have we arrived? I wonder.
It seems to me that we have smarter phones but less wisdom. We have bigger houses and smaller families. More money and less time. We have sacrificed better for bigger, quiet for noise, communication for texting. We have more conveniences but less time. We have more counselors and more problems. Our schedules are full, but our lives are empty. I don’t long for simpler times. I quite enjoy the place God has me. But here are three practical steps to sanity in this fast forward world:
1. Remember that money is a lousy way of keeping score. Money is useful. It can buy you a house but not a home. Keep it in perspective. There’s nothing wrong with stuff, but when we use it to measure ourselves, we try to drive forward in reverse.
2. Find out who’s gonna cry at your funeral and hang out with them. Doubling our incomes while tripling our divorce rates is not success. Stealing time from those who love us and giving it to those who don’t will merely ensure that no one visits you in the nursing home.
3. Consider your heart condition. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we Christians…can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him.” True progress is reflecting God’s glory and being grateful for his work in us. Ask yourself, “Am I becoming more like Jesus? Am I reflecting his love today?” It’s not too late to turn the tide and bring back the joy. Go ahead. Join a slower group.
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