THIS SERIES: SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
And so for many of us, time appears to speed up; the days, weeks and months fly past in a blur—the consequence of busyness, of having so many ‘plates’ spinning that if we stop they might all come crashing around our ears. The digital age, for all its benefits, has added to this frenzy by creating a climate of instant gratification—we want and expect everything immediately.
And the habit of always doing at least two things at once means our attention is always divided, a fact that recent neuro-scientific research suggests has a negative effect on our mental processes and well-being.
The bottom line is that we need to slow down—for our immediate benefit, and our long term health and happiness. Building a simpler life means rejecting the tyranny of the urgent; refusing to jam-pack our days with activity, and ignoring the pressure to conform to others’ expectations; taking time instead to simply be.
Building a simpler life means rejecting the tyranny of the urgent; refusing to jam-pack our days with activity, and ignoring the pressure to conform to others’ expectations; taking time instead to simply be.
5 WAYS TO GET OUT OF THE FAST LANE
2. Determine to really savour and enjoy the present moment; we only have one one life—let's make the most of it. Sharing with others through photos, and written or verbal communication, helps to build a bank of special memories which will enhance our sense of well-being in days to come.
3. Make a note of how often the habit of multi-tasking kicks in. Choose some tasks to do with full concentration. For example, resist the temptation to read or watch television while eating, or chat on the mobile phone while shopping. Gradually develop a new habit of complete focus.
4. Consider adopting the idea of a Sabbath rest—one day per week to stop & rest; take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Perhaps a fast from our digital task-masters can also be included—one day a week when we don’t open emails, review our work schedules or take work-related phone-calls; one day a week when we are unavailable if we choose. (Incidentally, for most Christians, Sunday is far from a restful day ……)
5. Relax and enjoy the important people in your life—investing in strong relationships is one of the most important things we’ll ever do. Resolve to become a good listener—you may change someone’s life!
TIME FOR THE LORD
Although slowing down is important for our health and well-being, there is another hugely important reason. When we race through our days we leave no room for the Lord… I wonder how many encounters with Him we miss in our hurry?
Exodus tells the story of how Moses, seeing a burning bush in the desert, made the decision to stop and investigate. And the result was a revelation of God which would change the face of history [Exodus 3].
What can God do with us if we slow down and become available to Him?
It is a life lived in unity. And once you find it you’ll never go back.'
The Biblical perspective is perhaps better expressed through the idea of simple living, the theme of these recent posts. I was first introduced to the idea of simplicity many years ago, long before it became ‘fashionable’, through a chapter in Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline, now considered a Christian classic; and subsequently explored in depth in Freedom of Simplicity.
You may not agree with all Foster's conclusions, but these books are a thought-provoking deeper exploration of the subject for those who have been 'hooked' by the idea of living more simply, but profoundly. (In addition the Celebration book has chapters on other spiritual disciplines - an important addition to any Christian library.)
They can be purchased from Amazon where I am an affiliate*, by clicking on the pictures.
Anyone read either of these?
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[**Photo credit: Peter Clarkson @ Unsplash, with thanks]