Is busyness crowding out the room for the success of your soul?
The story is told of a South American tribe that went on a long march, day after day, when all of a sudden they would stop walking, sit down to rest for a while, and then make camp for a couple of days before going any further. They explained that they needed the time of rest so that their souls could catch up with them. (from “Sabbath” by Wayne Muller)
Are you working and living without the benefits of having your soul catch up? Are you feeling like your work is soul-less and little more than a method of producing a paycheck?
In the “busyness” of modern life, I fear we have lost the rhythm between activity and rest. Just as exhaling without occasionally inhaling will cause you to turn blue and pass out, busyness without rest will cause you to “pass out” from things that matter. “I am so busy.” We say this as a badge of honor, as if our exhaustion were a trophy, and our ability to withstand 70-80 hour workweeks a mark of real character. We convince ourselves that the busier we are, the more we are accomplishing and the more important we must be. But is this really so? Does more activity really mean more accomplishment? To be unavailable to friends and family, to miss the sunsets and the full moons, to blast through all our obligations without time for taking a deep breath – this has become the model of a successful life.
Can we really distinguish essentials that matter in our efforts to get more things? Just this week I worked with a very competent lady who has reached the pinnacle in her profession, with a world class apartment and a beach house for the weekends. Although her income puts her in the top 1% nationally, she has lost the sense of fulfilling work. One of her expressed goals is to “smile more on my way to happiness.”
"If you are losing your leisure, look out. You may be losing your soul."
- Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946) U.S.-born British essayist, biographer, critic
Embrace Sabbath days and times in your life. Wisdom, peace, contentment and insight about fulfilling work will grow in those times. Take a walk, give thanks for simple things, take a bath with music and candles, turn off the telephone, pager, TV and computer – carve out those times for restoration and spiritual breathing. Even Jesus got away from the crowds periodically.
From the Bible:
“Then Jesus suggested. ‘Let’s get away from the crowds for a while and rest.’ For so many people were coming and going that they scarcely had time to eat. So they left by boat for a quieter spot.” Mark 6:31 (TLB)
Direction for Today:
How has your striving for success crowded out the Sabbath in your life?
Dan is the author of the New York Times best-selling 48 Days To The Work You Love , No More Dreaded Mondays and the newly released Wisdom meets Passion. He has been a guest on CBS' 'The Early Show,' MSNBC's 'Hardball with Chris Mathews,' Moody MidDay Connection, and the Dave Ramsey Show. Dan has spoken at the White House Christian Fellowship, and is in high demand at national conferences on aging and changes in the workplace, and at universities and churches. Over 130,000 people have subscribed to his weekly newsletter, his 48 Days Podcast consistently ranks in the top 3 under Careers on iTunes, and the 48Days.net business community is viewed as an example around the world for those seeking to find – or create – work they love.