Gee, we Michiganders are about to embark upon the two coldest months of the year: January and February. But it's certainly not the way it was 150 years ago! There were no electric lights at night with which to read, or do anything else, for that matter. No furnaces, no phones, no tractors, no computers, no TV's, no microwaves.
Life was hard work: gardening, laundry by hand, chopping wood. But during the winter months, there were no crops to cultivate. Of course, farmers still had the daily chores -- the livestock to tend. But this was their 'slack season' (if there ever was such a thing on a farm).
Today, our lives are drastically different. And I say with much confidence that in these days, we do not slow down in wintertime. Heck! We don't know what 'slow down' is. Yes, in today's society, we are always on the go, go, go. Our days are crammed full from sun-up to sun-down (whoops! wrong analogy) with so much work and play and other stuff that we have absolutely no free time to do nothing! We have 24-hour super markets, 24-hour laundry mats, 24-hour everything. If we could discover how to by-pass sleep, we could and would do even more stuff -- not that there's anything wrong with the stuffing.
I imagine that by now you will want to remind me just how important it is for us to be productive, to develop our full potential, to explore all there is to see and do, to take advantage of the technological advances of science. Former societies did not have these opulent opportunities. It's here for the taking.
I agree. But what concerns me is that we do not seem to be as creative or use our imagination. The TV does it for us. The news reports tell us what to think and believe. Students do not calculate in their heads, but rely on a calculator. Children are not encouraged to make their own toys, but are provided with purchased-toys-arama.
What concerns me is that our lives seem to be have become saturated with doingness. We're so consumed with the busyness, yet unaware of what is missing.
What concerns me is that we seem to have inadvertently lost sight of the value of just being. We don't take time to smell the coffee anymore. We're out the door and on the road to something somewhere seeking the stuffing of life ... yet not really experiencing it.
You are life -- not what you are doing. You are valuable -- not what you are accomplishing. How much 'quality time' do you spend with you? Do you have a relation with everything except you? If the TV or radio has to be turned on the moment you enter your home, could this be an escape from simply being with you? If you are doing nothing, are you at peace with yourself?
Jesus said, "For what profit will a person have
if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?"
Authored by Reverend Virgil Brewer at Unity Chapel
January 1, 2004