Once upon a time, experts predicted that the speed of technology, robots and satellites would pose a huge problem for American businesses. However, without the gift of hindsight, the problem these “experts” predicted was not that Americans would be strapped for time but rather that they would have too much of it.
In 1967, experts on time management warned the U.S. Senate that come 1985, American workers may be forced to choose between one of three unfavorable outcomes: Work 22 hours per week, put in 27 weeks of work a year or retire at the ripe old age of 38. Tragic as those outcomes may seem, recent trends show that those experts were woefully wrong.
Now, more than 50 years later, it’s true that things are moving faster than ever. However, speed hasn’t freed up our time so much as convinced us that we need to do more in fewer hours. Though there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of technological advances, it may be worth your while to reflect on your pace and wonder if maybe your perpetual need to do more in less time isn’t more of a burden than it is a blessing. If you feel dissatisfied despite all you do, consider slowing down and all the benefits doing so will have on your life and your relationships.
Find Your True Purpose
In a hurried life, your purpose is defined by what you do and what you have. However, God’s purpose isn’t about doing or having but rather about becoming. When you live a hurried existence, you’re constantly looking externally for answers. You look to your career, your house, your belongings, your social circle. However, when you slow down, you may feel compelled to look internally for answers. In doing so, you may discover that maybe your purpose is less about material possessions and social status and more about feeling happiness, love, joy, peace, kindness, self-control and faithfulness.
Increase Your Capacity To Love Others
It is no coincidence that one of the most well-known verses of the Bible states that “love is patient, love is kind.” Love is not easily angered, it does not shy away at the first sign of trouble, and it does not judge. In other words, love thrives when it has the time to nurture itself and grow.
Hurried people find that they have little to no time to nurture their loving relationships with others. As life demands more of them, they find themselves torn between multiple commitments, many of which have nothing to do with those they love. As these people spend more time tending to things — work, meetings, colleagues, cars, etc. — they have less time to devote to the people they love, which may diminish their capacity to love altogether. If you want to love with all your heart — and for those you love to know that you love them with all your heart — devote more time to them and less time to work and material things.
Improve Your Relationship With God
A Chinese pastor once said that people of today have so much to do that they rarely have time to communicate with God as He intended in the Garden of Eden. This pastor was referring to the fact that to truly commune with Him, one must master the art of attentiveness, stillness and silence, an impossibility when one is constantly on the go. If you want to connect with God on a deeper level, you must hop off life’s busy freeway and find time to connect with Him spiritually. Once you do, you may find that you have a better relationship with Him, and that you are better able to fulfill His mission.
Though technology has its perks, time is not one of them. If time is not on your side, find ways to slow down. Your efforts will be rewarded.