I was nervous to be completely alone for 24 hours. I was in the midst of a very busy season of life, and I couldn’t remember the last time I had intentionally slowed down. At first, I felt like I had entered a void. I didn’t have a checklist of responsibilities; I didn’t have any distractions. I had myself.
This absence of diversions forced me to cultivate patience. I was confronted by the fact that I had been unconsciously drifting from activity to activity without deliberately engaging. I had been distracted by hurry.
Now, I have to confess - I like being hurried. It gives me a sense of importance and accomplishment. It fuels me with adrenaline. It distracts me from dealing with the deeper issues in my life.
The resistance I feel toward slowing down is also reflected in American culture. According to a 2016 study organized by Project: Time Off, 55% of Americans did not use all of their paid time off in 2015. Choosing instead to try and get ahead in their career or bolster their sense of self-worth in the workplace, Americans are ditching a portion of their vacation benefits. The Economist claims that “if leisureliness was once a badge of honour among the well-off of the 19th century...then busyness—and even stressful feelings of time scarcity—has become that badge now.” In our individualistic culture where personal achievement is paramount, being hurried is a new measure of success.
What is the cost of our constant busyness? In his book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People, John Ortberg states that when we are hurried, “The great danger is not that we will renounce our faith, but settle for a mediocre version of it.” Love, humility, generosity, forgiveness - many of the attributes cultivated when living for something greater than yourself - take an expenditure of time in order to mature.
Are you willing to invest time - arguably the most precious commodity of our age - in order to delve deeper towards a full, rich life? We need to set aside the crutches used to support our ego and instead cultivate deeper meaning in our lives.
Here at BriO, we encourage our audience to experience life more abundant. We hope to provide you with content that inspires you to embrace all that is abundantly beautiful in life. Our programming engages you with truth. Don’t settle for a distracted, hurried life that enables you to avoid larger issues. This week, consider setting aside a time to slow down and invest in what really matters.