Have you ever just sat somewhere and “people watched”? You can do this anywhere really, whether that is in a busy mall or just at the movie theater before the movie starts. I like to do this just to see what I can gather about someone in a few moments. What I see would most likely be different from what you see, just because of people's individual point of view. This blog may come across as negative or even condescending, especially in the beginning, however I think if you stay till the end we may have a different view.
What I see: I see people of all ages that are constantly in motion, either at work or on their personal time. We have created a lifestyle climate that does not sit well with the quiet. I mean when was the last time we stopped and enjoyed life? This fast paced life has created many side effects, and just like medicine, the side effects can be worse than than the issue at hand. I believe the worst side effect is that the family has been placed in the reserve fuel tank. Anybody who has ridden dirt bikes or four wheelers have been in a situation where the motor starts “spittin and sputterin” because the gas tank is dangerously low, so you stop and turn the reserve fuel tank on just to get back home or to make it to the truck. We have done the same thing for the family. In this fast paced life the is no room for them, except in the reserve tank. We run here and there at breakneck speed all day, and then when we finally make it home (after two practices and fast food while planning the weekend activities) there is no gas in the tank, so we turn it to reserve and give just enough to make it till bedtime. Repeat. Repeat again. "Oh yeah, we have that thing this week, and finally the weekend. Have you checked the game schedule? We only have four games on Sunday this season, that’s not too bad is it, and spring break is just around the corner." I see parents who devote so much to their child, there is nothing left for the spouse. People in middle management positions at work especially. Through the pressures placed on them, or by their nature, they just can’t get away from that "darn phone" or the emails piling up. I see people who have nothing good to say about social media, yet check their phone 15 times an hour. People seem burned out at church every time we come together. Husbands and wives insult each other while in a crowd. I see mothers pushing the stroller with their right hand, her pocketbook falling off her left shoulder, she's holding her phone with her left hand, has shopping bags hanging from her right forearm, and her teenage son and husband walk clueless beside her. I see garages full with cars parked outside. All around... people are just OVERWHELMED, with the pace of life.
I also see selfless people who devote much of their time to others. Fathers that will help with dishes and laundry, who will share wisdom with his children. Mothers who pray for the prodigal son to come to his senses, and young women that carry themselves with class and dignity, teenage boys that aren't too proud to serve at church, or hold the door for an elder. I see pastors who grasp the weight of their calling. People who forgive when it would be easier to hate. Someone that is burnt out but keeps doing what is asked of them, while asking God for strength. If I asked you to go a mile, you would go two. I see people in the workforce that commit his/her work to the Lord by being dependable for decades, going farther than the bare minimum, and just being content with the work that is before them. We come together to laugh, encourage, learn from and worship with one another. Some families have cut out TV altogether so they could spend more time engaged with each other. I see prayers of thankfulness before meals, to give God the glory for health and strength, to ask for grace on others and themselves because we are unworthy. I see a church with 10% of its budget given to missions. A church that wants to actively seek out people, and share the gospel. A church... that I am thankful for.
In writing this blog I realize it may be scattered, or just bad, but I think there’s some veins of truth in it. I am not pronouncing verdict or sentencing, because we all drift in out of this entire blog. We all overlook things that deserve our attention, and dwell on the frivolous. Let's be careful not to be so “devoted” to everything else, that we miss out on family,or God, because we can apply all of this to our spiritual life as well. That we would look for opportunities to just be quiet and still. To purposefully throttle back a bit and see this life in a different light, and (if we must) literally schedule time for both, then do it, because if you look at your 24 hours you’ll find, there is a lot to do, and something is always pulling for our attention. If I had to sum it all up in one phrase, I would say, as we pass through this life, let's make sure the game we win at... is the right game.