What can I fit in this moment?
Now that I'm doing this, what about that?
Oh, take this. Grab that. Uh, how about this?
Efficiency. Trying to fit everything and then some in.
It's an internal war I wage all the time with relational ramifications. People may not confront me on it but I know they feel that energy. That "get 'er done and keep it goin'" demand
I can be a drill sergeant at work. The Spirit is often pressing into this demand at work. Most often the sergeant is scorning herself.
Now there's nothing wrong with trying to be wise with your time. But when the "energy" and franticness of the expectations you put on yourself and others spills out and the back muscles tighten, the jaw clutches, and the heart races, "Houston, we have a problem."
The god of efficiency has been with me a long time. He earns me applause and awe. I once had an employer say to me, "You are amazing what it takes me two days to do you get done in less than a day."
I'm chuffed inside. Why yes, yes I do. I feel elevated. Special.
But the fulfillment doesn't last long. There's always the fallout.
Lack of presence.
Body aches and tiredness.
Shortness of speech.
Judgement of others.
Yup, all that yucky evidence of a heart going its own way.
So what do I do with this awareness? I'm not gonna change overnight. But that's never the point.
With Jesus, he gives me a vision of a better way. A way that abides in His life, and stays present, to well, His Presence. This requires participation for me. Doing things throughout my day and week that keep me mindful and open to the small shifts that bury this god of efficiency and resurrect true Life--life with limits, life with rhythm, a life in l o v e.
Here are some things I try to practice to put off the old and put on the new:
- Deep breathe. It slows everything down and brings me back in the moment. God's reminder I am in the moment. Be. Here. Now.
- Rolling my neck and shoulders. It get's me back in touch with my body and often the negative impact of my hustling and bustling. Have you noticed how everything gets tighter?
- Praying. Whether it's dialoging with God about he and I or praying for a friend, it brings me back into what really matters and the kingdom among us.
- Saying no or rescheduling. This is a hard one for me. Especially for "her," the old life that found acceptance and worth in coming through for others. I can feel pulled to always be the answer to the need. This is evidence for my lack of trust that someone else is able and will do it. (argh, lots of dirty laundry today). But see this is the gift. Jesus liberating me into a life of knowing I am one part of a bigger body and a BIG God. Sometimes my being the answer to a need has nothing to do with servanthood and everything to do with fear, believing if I didn't come through no one will. Also, it secures me love, I get seen and appreciated.
I have a feeling this is going to be a lifelong journey for me, but I find so much hope and peace knowing there is a path to life, and though few find it, He has prepared the way for me. I have tasted a different way. And once you experience the shift, once your spirit dwells in that place and your soul begins to learn a different response, you may go back to those old patterns but you are more deeply aware of the cost and you more readily begin to come back to the l i f e.
So what about you? What are some things you do to lay down the god of efficiency and slow down for the moment?