by: Mary Buckley
Undersea divers are taught this about how to surface when they are out of breath: “when you feel like rushing, slow down.”
Our culture has always favored the man of action over the man of contemplation.
This flies in the face of things like ‘live dangerously’, ‘life is an adventure’, ‘be radical’!
Truth in each one, of course, but being radical does not necessarily make you a courageous follower of Christ.
We have built a whole culture around these ideas. Books are written, talks are given, disciples are made that learn this idea of a performance based life. The standard for a 'sold out' life has religiously become a performance based life.
“Live a quiet life, mind your own business, and work with your hands.” I Thess 4:11
Have you seen any books written about this verse lately? Probably not.
Maybe because it does not fit the standard we have raised for a ‘sold out’ life.
Outside pressure becomes inside pressure and we are driven by it.
Under this kind of pressure, we may start to look at people as points to be won.
With every success we feel like there's just one more we have to win. The finish line is elusive because it keeps getting moved further away after each accomplishment.
So we put all of our energy into winning, over sensationalizing our lives looking for points.
Because we attribute affirmation to winning, our appetite for it is insatiable. We gobble it up on social media. “How many likes did I get on my facebook post?” “Do I have any texts?” “How many followers do I have on Instagram?”
My spirit is telling me that I need to slow down and come up for air. I cannot hear it.
What if we were motivated to walk in a more humble, quiet way that pleases the Lord more than performing in a bold and assertive way to win accolades from others?
Stepping into a simpler lifestyle is not going backwards. It is not wasting your talents. It is not quitting.
Stepping away from busyness and into a simpler lifestyle might feel like you are losing something, but this is the very fear that keeps us busy......running......striving.
Aren’t you tired?
I have good news. You can actually live your life rather than race through it.
Life does not have to be lived with this thing inside of us that keeps us filled with anxiety and stress. It can be a wondrous collaboration between the Holy Spirit and the believer.
The word doesn't tell us that we will do greater things than Jesus does so that millions of people will see it. It tells us to lead a simple, faithful life, and to do those extraordinarily great things in our everyday way. Some things will be seen…..many will not.
And while we are at it, when we labor under this moment by moment feeling that we must leave a great mark on the world, aren’t we making it too much about us. And not enough about God?
For me, I can breathe when I think like this: “I'm going to do my best to live humbly before God today, to walk in a way that pleases him, and to trust him for the rest.”
When I feel I should rush to preform, I will slow down and find air.