Excerpt from Competent Christian Counseling (Dr. Timothy Clinton & Dr. George Ohlschlager):
What’s happening to us?
The 24/7 pace and the pain of our day has taken over. The cry for relief is deafening; the need to simply slow down and live a simpler life is compelling. More than 50% of all adults in the United States now claim to be stressed out, too busy to make sense of their time-starved, cluttered, and unstable worlds (Barna & Hatch, 2001). Trapped in the difficult paradox of chasing excitement and pleasure, most people feel too fatigued and overworked to simplify, reflect, and satisfy deeper longings for meaning and renewal.
Faced with an uncertain future, many people believe they are falling further behind and will never get the chance to stop and smell the roses. It’s too late, they think. I’m in too deep. As a result, it is easy to conclude that significant numbers of individuals in today’s world are overwhelmed and confused by lives that have turned out far differently than they were supposed to.
Crowded and pained lives led to fatigue, even the mysterious “hurry disease” of CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome). We are even too tired and overwhelmed to exercise, eat right, sleep more, read a good book, be a coach, or teach a class. More forces than ever are tearing at our relationships and competing for our time, energy, and affection. Before long, tension builds, tempers flare, stomachs turn, ulcers bleed, and poor choices are made. Worse yet, hurt people hurt people (Wilson, 1993). Brokenness is everywhere.
Questions to consider today:
- How do you relate and how are you “giving in” to the pressure to live a 24/7 lifestyle?
- Where can you simplify, reflect, and satisfy deeper longings you have for meaning and renewal today? If not today, when will you plan to withdraw to make time to do so? Set a day, a time, a specific location, and anything you need in order to eliminate distractions or conflicts. The more specific you can be, the more likely you will follow through!
- What will you gain by slowing down? What will you lose by not?
I am learning all of this with you. It is a difficult reality to imagine because I know so few people that are committing to making this their reality: a 24/6 kind of lifestyle instead of a 24/7. And although I can work harder (be more successful in getting coaching clients with more energy and time exuded, have a higher paying job, having more friendships, have more parties and events I’m invited to, etc), the cost of losing myself in the process and burning out is not worth it to me. That is, for this season, I have created a lot of extra time for myself, to reflect, to wonder, to question, to wrestle with God, to deepen specific relationships and my marriage, and to celebrate the recovery process I am on.
Where are you and what changes do you need to make to be in a place that is right for you in this time?