Updated: Mar 29, 2020
“Busy is the new stupid.” -Bill Gates
In the last few months, my friends and I have started discussing this concept of the busy, hurried, meeting-packed, over-committed, hectic lives we live. We have come across multiple resources (podcasts, sermons, books, apps) talking about rest, sabbath, soul care, self care, eliminating hurry, or some other way to describe the cure for the problem of the crazy pace of life that plagues us all.
We are busy, frantic, and hurried as we hustle around our daily lives. We have bought into the lie that technology will make us more efficient and make our lives easier. While technology has removed much of the manual labor, it has also removed us from many of the natural rhythms of life that we were intended to experience. Think about this: Until the invention of trains in the 1800s, the fastest humans travelled was 3 miles per hour walking or 4 miles per hour on a horse. To have a relationship with someone, you had to walk or ride to go see them. Now, we can commute 45 miles like it is nothing and have “friends” that you have never met in person, all while not even knowing your neighbors.
We are addicted to the speed and hurry. We like it. Listening to Fight Hustle, End Hurry Podcast by John Mark Comer and Jefferson Bethke I realized I really like speed, hustle, and hurry. From my time in the military, I learned that I perform well in a crisis. I have brought this into my work and family life. While there is part of this that is God-given, there is also a large part of this that is my attempt to run from the pain of this life. When they made this point, it really hit home for me. The hustle and hurry in my life has stopped me from examining myself.
When talking about this with my friends, all of us admitted we had little rest or sabbath in our lives. We are men who are pursuing God’s heart and seeking him daily, but the way of the world has crept in such that we weren’t following the 4th commandment. If you need a measuring stick, ask yourself, “Do I want to keep doing this for the next 30 years?” If you are in a similar place as me, that question makes you tired just thinking about it.
Let me give you an example. It’s a long week at work, a tough commute, the kids don’t like the pizza I got them for dinner, and I have barely seen or talked to my wife all week as we run to different commitments. All I want is rest so I sit down and binge watch whatever will keep the kids quiet and let me shut off my brain. But do I ever finish and say, “I am refreshed and rejuvenated.” No! All I did was medicate my mediocrity. I gave myself a fix to shut down my brain but not to heal or bring joy to my inner self.
We know there is a problem, but how do we address it? Based on the resources I’ve found, I have started trying a few practices that have helped. I believe these simple practices could be transformational if applied over the long haul. Here they are:
I promise I wasn’t trying for the alliteration. These practices are intertwined and not totally discreet, and I have found that practicing them just a little bit I can already see fruit. I will warn you that it will take some effort. These will not come easy. We have been conditioned by the world to be stimulated and busy. But trust me that once you taste what is available, you will want it even more.