Increasing our pace has decreased our peace. There’s an old joke about a stressed-out personal assistant who told her boss, ‘When this rush is over, I’m going to have a nervous breakdown. I’ve earned it, I deserve it, and nobody’s going to take it from me!’
We might smile, but chances are you can relate. Not long ago we marked the passing of time in seasons. But seasons begat monthly calendars, which begat day-timers, which begat one-minute managers, which begat handheld personal organisers. And what does it all lead to? As our productivity goes up, our quality of life seems to go down.
An article in USA Today described how therapist Ofer Zur staged a conference called ‘Speed.com: The Search for Meaning in the New Millennium’. And guess where he staged it? In the heart of stressed-out Silicon Valley, California! As the attendees gathered, Zur noted the drawn faces, worried looks, and preoccupied demeanour of his audience. He said his personal alarm sounded when he noted they had brought cell phones and laptops—and began using them during the session. Here’s what he said about it: ‘We’ve become obsessed with speed. We end up with lots of plans that we can’t execute and a full schedule that can’t be followed. The paradox of our time-saving tech gadgets is that we’ve wound up with no free time.’
Sound familiar? So where can you go to find peace? To the One whose name is ‘Prince of Peace’. Today He’s saying to you: ‘If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.’ (Isaiah 48:18 NIV)