by John Mark Comer
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Our time is our life and our attention is the doorway to our hearts.
In a world where we are constantly bombarded with notifications on our devices, it can be hard to find silence and solitude.
Even if we are alone with our phone, it doesn’t mean we’re alone in our thoughts. Social media leaves us connected to a bombardment of thoughts and opinions. Before smartphones, people would wait without a source of constant distraction. They would sit on the bus and watch out the window. Nowadays, we leave little time for solitude and reflection.
Just make a point to get up earlier than your household. Take time to enjoy things like a good book and a cup of coffee. You could even take this extra time to take a leisurely walk before work. Put down your phone and unplug your headphones. Allow yourself to feel all the emotions that might come your way.
The more you do this, the more you’ll start to realize solitude does not equate to loneliness. Rather, it lets you connect with the world around you.
Not long ago, Americans used to wake up to a quieter Sunday where all businesses were closed and there wasn’t much else to do but be with family or go to church. The shift in society to the more secular and commercial has made it hard to have a day for rest anymore. Shops are now open, and people often have to worry about work on this day.
Every Sunday, spend time doing things you don’t normally have time to do, like taking a nap or going on a long walk. Enjoy the company of your family or close friends. Resting will allow you to appreciate the week previous and recharge for the one to come.
Have you ever stood in the line of a grocery store frustrated at the person in line in front of you who is looking for coupons? Don’t they know we’re in a hurry?
The truth is, we don’t have to be so efficient all the time. Instead of racing by cars on your commute home, try going the speed limit, or take a minute to let other people merge in front of you. It probably doesn’t need to be a stressful race. Instead, it could be a relaxing time of solitude that allows you to reflect on your day and listen to your thoughts.
Another great way to slow down your life is by simplifying your phone. One trick is transitioning to a “dumb” phone. And honestly, is there really a reason we need social media and emails constantly notifying us?
But if you’re not into that more idea, you could delete social media and email apps so you can just use your phone for calls and messages. This will allow you to focus on one thing at a time rather than distractedly multitasking.
Hurry is a form of violence on the soul. Here are a few symptoms of hurry sickness.
1. Irritability — You get mad, frustrated, or just annoyed way too easily.
2. Hypersensitivity — All it takes is a minor comment, a grumpy email, or a little turn of events to set you off. You can’t seem to roll with punches
3. Restlessness — When you actually do try to slow down and rest, you can’t relax.
4. Workaholism (or just nonstop activity) — You just don’t know when to stop. Or worse, you can’t stop.
5. Emotional numbness — You don’t have the capacity to feel another’s pain.
The solution to an overly busy life is not more time. It’s to slow down and simplify our lives around what really matters. We can’t do it all. We simply can’t see, read, watch, taste, drink, experience, be, or do it all. Not an option. We have limitations. Lots of them. Our bodies. Our minds. Our giftings. Our personalities and emotional wiring. Our families of origin.
Our socioeconomic origins. Our educations and careers. Our seasons of life and their responsibilities. Our eighty or so years of life. God’s call on our lives. Nobody has more than twenty-four hours in a day
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Diplomatic Services operational officer
Faith, minimalism and slowing down.
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