“To love life is to love time. Time is the stuff life is made of.” This quote from Benjamin Franklin intrigues me. Living in harmony with time. Agreeing not to compete against time. Becoming friends with time. What a relief-filled possibility!
A colleague surprised me recently when she said, “I’m in the process of changing my philosophy about time and work—and beginning to think that maybe fulfillment and success are not found in keeping my nose to the grindstone every minute. I’ve decided to try to be a bit easier on myself—to take breaks, to pause and talk with fellow workers and to rest when appropriate. However, I admit I feel extremely uncomfortable about this. Am I doing the right thing?”
Perhaps God allows finite human beings (that’s you and me!) to live within the confines of time to protect us from anxiety overload and burnout. Changing our concept of time as a slave driver or tyrant (or wet blanket) to that of a friend may help us become more peaceful and content. Wouldn’t that be a refreshing way to live?
And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again (Phil. 1:6, NLT).
Thanks for the safety of time limitations.
Keep reminding me that no is not a naughty word.
I let go of my need to do everything and serve everyone.
I’m trusting that You’ll finish in me what You’ve started.
I wrote the above message about TIME several years ago (it appears on page 141 of The Relief of Imperfection.) And I journaled about this personal “aha” several years before that. When I read it again today, it felt new. Just another reminder that I’m on an ongoing journey of life as a “recovering” workaholic (or action-addict or over-doer, whatever you want to call it!)
What about you? How do you feel about TIME?
I’m Not Crazy
Overwork makes for restless sleep. Ecclesiastes 5:3, THE MESSAGE
Am I making too much of culture’s bigger-better-more-faster craze? I didn’t think so, but I wanted verification. “The world is now producing nearly two exabytes of new and unique information per year,” writes Kevin A. Miller, author of Surviving Information Overload. “Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what an exabyte is. No one does. It’s a new term, one they had to coin for a billion gigabytes.” Miller maintains that “there are 260,000 billboards, 11,520 newspapers, 11,556 periodicals, 27,000 video outlets, 40,000 new book titles, and 60,000,000,000 pieces of junk mail every year” for us to choose from, read, compare, manage and heed.1
An emergent group of “information environmentalists” states that their objective is to reclaim mental respite from the constant barrage of cell phones, personal digital assistants, instant messaging, email, specialized cable channels and massive amounts of news, entertainment and sales pitches.2 “It feels to me that as a result of the high speed at which we’re operating . . . we’re kind of numbing ourselves. Just trying to get by,” says Dr. David Levy, professor at University of Washington’s Information School and researcher at a think-tank that created the personal computer and laser printer.3
So I’m not crazy when I get the gut-sickening sensation that I’ll never catch up! I won’t. Nobody can. Thus, begone unnecessary guilt! I’m headed for fewer sleepless nights, trying to figure out how to get it all done.
Lord, I can’t maneuver through this over-the-top mania alone. We’re a team and I’m grateful. That’s enough for me today.
What’s your take on this information? Do you ever feel like you’ll never get it all done?
[Adapted from It's a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life.] http://tinyurl.com/DevoBook
It’s the 4th of July 2010. This morning while browsing through a magazine, I found and read the first part of our country’s Declaration of Independence. It struck a chord in my mind and heart like never before. I don’t know why this holiday more than others. I lived through a lot of Independence Day celebrations.
I’m grateful beyond words for the Founding Fathers’ sacrifices. I cherish the freedom I enjoy in every area of my life. And I’m fascinated the DOI’s phrase: “That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Here’s what I read this morning. It’s worth reading again–and again.
The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America(Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776)
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of governments. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.