It’s hard to believe it’s already March 1, 2013. Where did January and February go? I feel like I blinked and they were gone, but isn’t that how it is for most of the American population? With our fast paced lives and overly packed schedules, time simply escapes us. We are a culture based on minutes and seconds, not leisurely hours. We set alarms, eat breakfast in the car so we’re not late to our first meeting, scarf down lunch while catching up on emails, hurry to the next meeting, slam down some coffee, soda or an energy drink about three o’clock to get us through to the end of the day, snarf a Subway sandwich or fast food burger on the way home so that we can rush in the door, change clothes and head back out to our kid’s practice or game, wherein our Bluetooth never separates from our ear because Lord forbid we should miss a call. By 9:00pm we are exhausted and realize we haven’t sat down and taken a breath all day. Then, we sleep, wake, shower, get dressed and do it all over again.
We’re living the American Dream… or is it a nightmare?
In the olden days a person went to work from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday thru Friday. At 5:30pm they were home and seated at the supper table with their family for a meal that wasn’t handed through a drive-thru window and didn’t come in a little paper sack. Practices weren’t scheduled until after dinner time because everyone knew the importance of family. Weekends consisted of both Saturday and Sunday, not just Sundays, and they were spent playing outside and having fun. Retail establishments weren’t open on Sundays, because it was still valued as a day for church and a day of rest.
When did we become an over-stressed, over-achieving, workaholic nation? How can we question why our marriages and families are falling apart when we don’t have the time to hold them together?
Do we not have the time or do we not take the time?
I used to believe it was that we didn’t take the time….that if we could prioritize a little better, things would be different. Now, I see that in our culture it is virtually impossible to even find the time and still remain competitive and successful in the corporate world.
It’s hard. It’s no wonder why the divorce rate is so high. Parents have to divide and conquer in order to get their kids to every activity and weekends have become all about games, practices, rehearsals or performances and not about quality family time. Parents get run ragged and find themselves with little energy to devote to their marriage. It’s so easy to see how the grass can start to look greener elsewhere… but we all know it isn’t. Our over-tired vision creates a mirage that rest and peace lies in the arms of someone else…but it doesn’t.
We have to re-focus, re-prioritize and re-new our outlook on what is important. Unfortunately, I don’t think our fast-paced culture is going to slow down…but that doesn’t mean that we have to be constantly caught up in the current to the point that everything meaningful in our life gets drowned. We have to find a way to embrace quality family time…and it doesn’t have to be elaborate. In fact, it’s better if it’s simple. A game of catch. A picnic. A bike ride. A hike up in the mountains. A board game. Ping Pong. Anything that doesn’t involve a television screen, a computer, an iPad, an iPhone, an iTouch, an Xbox, a Wii or any other gaming system.
We need eye contact, not iContact.
We need to slow down so that we don’t miss the wonderful moments that make life beautiful. A smile, a hug, laughter, a kiss, dancing, music, the sunrise, the full moon, the falling snow, the smell of freshly baked cookies, the sound of geese flying overhead or thunder rumbling across the night sky…. all of the physical manifestations of love and life around us that get lost in our hurried culture. I’d rather miss a phone call or a meeting than miss these.
In all we have gained through technology and advancement, what have we lost? Eye contact. Take the Bluetooth headset off during dinner and don't check your text or email when someone is talking to you. Pay attention and show that you care. That phone call or email or text message can wait.
The eyes are the window to the soul…but if we never stop to gaze into them, how then can we expect to know our children or be connected with our spouse?
Time won’t stand still, but we must still find the time. ~