I grow more and more uneasy with the increasing amount of people I seem to see sleepwalking through life and I realize that I am no exception. We often run on auto-pilot, treating most days like any other day. Many of us don’t live fully conscious and we moan about not having enough time for anything. To me it often feels like someone has pushed the fast-forward button on my life and if I am not careful, I’ll forget to breathe.
Of course, I have my reasons why I am so busy like I’m sure all of you do. Our jobs and courses demand a lot of our time and if we are parents that is a huge amount of time allocated to our kids…and cleaning up after them, There are also appointments, schedules, deadlines, meetings, shopping excursions, health-care visits, gardening, decorating etcetera. However, if we pushed the play button on the video of our lives, what would we see? Probably a lot of over-tired, over-bored people wasting time doing unimportant stuff. I am concerned about the amount of time we all spend staring at screens. Our time is dominated by spending time in front of the computer. We use it for work, school and play. My son uses it for creating music and watching videos, my daughters are often on YouTube but if I am honest, I am probably the worst. I often research any question that comes to my head on the internet. I have spent time pinning on Pinterest, shopping on websites, improving my photos on Photobucket, writing and reading blogs (of course), emailing, reminiscing through YouTube, making playlists on Spotify etc. but what is really going on is that I am sitting on a chair in front of a screen during what is suppose to be my free time. I have not spent a single second being aware of my body, breath or surroundings.
It isn’t that our time on the computer isn’t important. The computer can be a great aid in creativity and creativity feeds the soul. However, with all our busyness, when do we actually rest or live or simply be? If we look at all of our activities, is there any time during any of them where we feel we are truly living? Irenaeus (2nd Century) said, ” The glory of God is the human person fully alive.” The conclusion I realize in my own life is that I rarely have a whole day where I feel engaged in my life. I have moments throughout some days but not every day. Let’s be honest, it may not be possible to be fully alive and engaged all day every day. However, ask yourself what would your ratio be? How many days do you feel alive and conscious? How many moments compared to times when you are just going through the motions?
So I decided my life needs some de-cluttering. I should eliminate some activities, right? The problem I have is that I feel so much of what I do is important. I don’t really want to eliminate any of them. I just want more…well time. So I have had to word the question differently to myself. Rather than ask, which activities are more important than others, I now ask which activities make me more fully alive? Which ones feel like I am fulfilling God’s glory?
Of course it won’t be the same answers for everyone. For some of you, it may be running, dancing, looking after a baby, walking in the woods. Still others may be in the form of something artistic or creative, caring for others who are weak or anything else you can think of. The sky’s the limit and you will find the list expands so that you can dip in and out of many living moments. If you practice being actively alive rather than simply driving around on auto-pilot without knowing which direction to take next, you will be more fully alive. Most importantly, take time to stop, rest, be still and listen to that loving spirit which guides you. Namaste.