We watched a show with our daughter Rebekah tonight about a young couple who’ve spent the past seven years traveling around the world. They are now Youtubers and share their adventures with everyone, and tonight’s episode was a visit to a 2000-year-old tribe living in the jungles of Indonesia.
One thing that struck the young Western couple on visiting this isolated tribe is the lack of definition between work, recreation, and fun in the day. Rather than defining a time to work and then another time for fun, the rhythm of their day merged work and play together to create a gentler, slower pace.
In contrast, how many, if not all of us, are guilty of being too busy to be able to take the extra time to move slower and gentler throughout our day, let alone have fun whilst we do? We often rush from one activity to the next, squeezing as much as possible into every second, and then wonder why we feel tired, have lost focus, struggle with stress, and don’t hear from God or communicate well with others as well as we could.
Ironically most of what we are busy doing so much of, we won’t even remember in twenty years. Why? Because it’s not significant to our lives and is often just filling the space in our day. It’s a bit like spending time with someone and feeling like you need to make sure there is no silence between you because the silence makes you feel uncomfortable.
When our kids were little toddlers, we would take them for a walk to the park. The “walk” would take a long time because they would inspect and sometimes chat with every flower, ant, and person they saw on their walk. We could have rushed it, picking them up and just getting to our destination, but as most of us know, the journey, as well as the destination, is important too. It's on the journey, we learn and discover who we are and about the world around us.
Despite a busy life, it is important to know how to be present and look for joy in the moment; otherwise, those moments will pass us by, and we will quite simply “miss them!”
God’s presence is also all around us; if we slow down and find a quiet space to draw near Him, we will recognise His closeness far more often. He wants to reveal the mysteries of the universe with us, to share His heart, and plans and to give us answers to our questions and the issues we face every day. But it is in the quietness that we find strength; it’s in slowing the pace to find balance and a healthier, happier, richer, and less stressful life that we will hear his voice and see his hand moving in our lives.
Today, I encourage you to slow down and make it an aim to merge the lines between work and play more often. Determine to seek God in your day, for as you do you'll sense Him in your midst and discover that, "happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony."(Thomas Merton)
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)
Prayer: Lord, please help me slow down and draw near to you and to find a balance between work and play and how to merge the two together more. In Jesus Name, Amen.