Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Centering an entire day around productivity or effectiveness as a goal equaled very little focus on other people. On relationships."

This is a needed challenge to me and all others who are concerned with "productivity".

What's it all really for?

Will we lay on our death bed and be thankful that we were so "productive"?  Maybe in reference to certain things, but I feel many of the things that we orbit around in the name of "productivity" are rather meaningless in the long run.

Ann Voskamp:
If we want to put others first, like Jesus? Then we must. slow. down. It’s the only way we as a Body can survive, thrive, be who we are meant to be in this rapid, rapid world.

My mind drifts frequently back to our life in the Middle East. Sure, my glasses are rose-colored, but what I remember most is how I felt. I felt… slower. More contemplative. More at rest with myself and those put purposely around me.

A dear friend and fellow expat American there said after several months of living in Turkey, “If someone were to look at my calendar, they would think I died six months ago.” There, we could equate our life’s measure not by boxes filled with pencil scratches, but by how much freedom in our days we had to linger over ├žay with neighbors. With people. In relationship.

I think a slow life can happen anywhere, in any culture.

But it’s harder, and it requires swimming upstream, when we live in one where the default setting is lightning fast.

And we have to be vigilantly aware of this so that our fingers continually twist the dial on our life to slower, slower, slower.

A slower-paced life isn’t just a good idea, or hip, or wishful thinking.

It’s essential if we want to have time to be the Body of Christ.
Read the rest.

And yes, there is a way to be sinfully lazy in the name of "slowing down". But I would guess that for many of us, we are so far from that extreme that some intentional thinking on how to push back the other way would be wise.

Another way to frame this discussion would be to center it on priorities.  If the Great Commandment is to love God and love people, is my busyness getting in the way of that?  Why am I making other things the priority over these two?

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