Monday, October 15, 2007

Hurry Up!!

How many times a day do you say that to your children?

How many times a day do you tell it to yourself?

The world today seems to be moving at light speed. We are rushed in everything we do. There is little time to slow down and relax.

And speaking of relaxing, how often do you get to do that? Do you feel like falling asleep as soon as you sit down? Are you constantly exhausted?

I am. This week has been particularly hard for me. I'm trying to kick my Pepsi addiction and I've been dragging, let me tell you. I guess that caffeine and sugar did more for me than help me gain a whole lot of weight! I've just been too darn exhausted to post this week. Each afternoon I've taken a nap, even when I didn't want to. Friday I found myself falling asleep at 11:00 a.m.!!!

That's what we're looking at today in our series on The Overload Syndrome , by Dr. Richard Swenson - hurry and fatigue. I think that these two conditions are the 21st century equivalent of the plague. They affect almost everyone and people can literally die from them.

We've already looked at why our world is so hurried - many of us take on too much and refuse to accept natural, God-given limits. We feel pressured by the many expectations on us and try to keep up with everyone around us.

And where does all the fatigue come from? Well, short of saying it's from a lack of caffeinated drinks, there are many reasons. The stress we are under is a huge fatigue inducer. And, as we saw before, we are never at rest having made ourselves available to everyone all the time. On top of that, millions of us are sleep-deprived. In 1850, the average American got 9.5 hours of sleep nightly. That number has now dropped to 7 hours per night, thanks to electricity and the light bulb. We are a 24 hour society that never shuts down.

Also, we are out of shape. The work that we do from day to day is now automated or done at a desk. Even as homemakers, our work has changed dramatically over the years. Our "servant girls" are time savers such as dishwashers, Roombas, vacuum cleaners, washers and dryers. These all replaced hard, physical labor that needed to be done. As a result, we must force ourselves to do exercise when it was once just a normal part of a woman's day.

So how can we combat the hurry and fatigue? Here are some tips from Dr. Swenson:

  1. Consciously slow the pace of life - Say no. Say no. Say no. This is the best advice I think anyone can hear. Say no to all the extra activities you (or your children) do just to keep up with everyone else. Say no to buying the extra things that will require extra work either to pay for or maintain. Say no to people who would suck you dry. And say yes to opening yourself up to God's blessings.
  2. Use technology wisely - Use cell phones, answering machines, fax machines and alarm clocks judiciously. Learn when to turn them off and when to ignore them.
  3. Throw away the alarm clock - God has a plan; that we wake when we get enough sleep. Now, I know some of us have to get up and go places early in the morning. But if you don't, consider whether or not you truly need to use an alarm clock or whether it's just habit.
  4. Repent of the pride of busyness - "The busier we appear, the greater the respect afforded us. While the person sitting on the porch swing is scorned, the speed of light jet jockey is venerated. . . It is not busyness that we should honor in our midst, but love. Busyness and love are not the same. One is speed, the other is God."
  5. Take your time - Persistence is more important than speed. Life is a marathon not a sprint. To finish sooner - take your time. Measure twice, cut once. Avoid shortcuts - they take too much time in the long run.
  6. Set an earlier ETA - Plan to arrive at your destination a little early. By planning to arrive just in time, you remove any margin for error - traffic, the need to stop for gas, getting lost, etc. This leads to a sense of urgency, which leads to stress. Of course, this means setting an earlier time to leave, but it's well worth it.
  7. Develop healthy sleep habits - Sleep is restorative. It's part of God's plan for us. Value it. Choose to get enough of it. To be well-rested is a blessing. Learn to enjoy a nap without feeling guilty.
  8. Exercise - This can greatly counteract fatigue. We conveniently never find time for it, but if we make the time we can reap a bountiful harvest of blessings - greater health, longer life, more vitality.
  9. Understand the will of God - He is not so desperate for resources that He needs to double our workload. Yes at times He will demand more from us, but this is for the purpose of refining us, not because His will will not be accomplished otherwise. God will give us all that we need when we need it. If we are overstressed, perhaps it is because we are not in His will.

I hope that these simple ideas can help you find some peace and rest. Remember that God wants us to enjoy our lives!


ValleyGirl said...

I love this post! I'm a big fan of uncomplicated, SLOW living.

stacey said...

i always love your reviews from this book!

Amy said...

Hey Lori, I know all about being really tired. YOu need to find a good brand of Vitamin B. I would could one from Wild Oats. Take your viamtin B at breakfast and lunch and you will find the energy that the caffine and sugar were giving you. YOu are extra tired these last couple of days because you body has to get use to the idea that you are not going to be giving it Pepsi any more. YA! KEEP up the GOOD Work.


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