If you’re reading this blog, you (like me) are inundated with information. It’s absolutely over-whelming! I just searched “marriage” on Amazon.com and found 129,909 books on the theme. We should all have perfect, thriving, sizzling, and joyful marriages if information were the total answer.
We know from our actual lives that information is not enough. I know from my limited life experience that if information is the answer to my problems and challenges, then I would have most things figured out by now. But… I have a long, long, long, way to go. Information alone is never enough!
I know… it sounds odd… I’m “bashing” information and then about to give you MORE information… But, my hope is that you (and I) take this and do not simply file it into our filing system of more information that will never lead to application. The ability to master a few things and produce fruit in the relationships and roles God has entrusted to us is a forgotten art because the “information junkie” in you and in me believes we’re just “one great idea” from a “better” idea than the one we’re failing to act upon. How do we turn all of the good info we have into helpful, fruitful, and meaningful application??
As parents, as leaders, or in some way in your career, you’re in a position that is very hard to “turn off”! You (and I) probably struggle with the feeling that in some ways – you are always “on”… someone is always demanding something from you. And while you’d never say it out loud, the feeling in your gut is that “everything” depends on you! The groceries will not simply show up at the house. The meal will not make itself. The dishes will not clean themselves. No one else will pay your mortgage! And so taking the steps to applying a few things is hard because in some way – you (and I!) have said “YES” to far too many things.
“The obvious sign is you overwork. You become a workaholic. If you don’t take a Sabbath, something is wrong. You’re doing too much, you’re being in charge — too much. You’ve got to quit, one day a week, and just watch what God is doing when you’re not doing anything.” ~Eugene Peterson
Beneath my chaos I have discovered something I wish didn’t exist. Fear.
I have two deep fears that keep me from slowing down and sitting back for a day and watching God do what He does while I do nothing. First, I fear that I don’t measure up, so I must work overtime and gather MORE information to prop up everything I do. Second, I fear that someone is keeping score of me all the time. I forget that 99.9% of people aren’t even thinking about me, only thinking about themselves (another comical reality!).
A step for us to take is a very simple (and scary) step. Shut it down, one day a week. If it’s not a literal 24 hour time period, that’s fine… but make the commitment and invite some accountability for there to be a significant chunk of time that is “unplanned” so that you and I can begin to process all the information racing through our minds so we can sift and apply the things that will lead us to making a fruitful and meaningful impact!
(for further reading, read Psalm 46 and Psalm 127)