The world isn’t moving at an increasingly rapid pace; we humans are. Beneath all the noise we make is a world beating slow and steady and quiet. It’s up to us to find the rhythm…
September is on the way.
If I put my ear to the ground, I can hear its manic rumblings.
The pools will shut down and the schools will open up. And with three kids in school, the onslaught is about to begin: back to school ice cream socials and curriculum nights and forms to sign and homework to complete and soccer practice and guitar practice and school drop-off and school pick-up and illnesses and sick days and bullies and tears.
All of it in triplicate.
The hours of light will shrink and the hours of obligations will expand and the open space of summertime will be crowded out by activities and responsibilities and hurry and voices and noise.
September is on the way.
Of course, parents aren’t the only ones burdened by the frenzy of life and September is not the only culprit. We’re all swimming in an increasingly loud and agitating sea of activities and obligations and the voices of business and commerce and news and information. And we’re immersed in it all the time…
Finding Our Rhythm Again
According to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, between the birth of the world and 2003, human beings created five exabytes of information. By 2010, we were creating five exabytes every two days. And by 2020, we will be generating fifty times more information daily.
Our brains are adjusting to the pace.
We turn on push notifications for our phones so we don’t fall behind. We reply to text messages as soon as we get them. We have twenty news channels on the television and countless news apps for our tablets. We check email on vacation so we won’t have to deal with the tsunami of information when we return.
Our minds are like runaway trains and our hearts are screaming along for the ride.
This doesn’t end well.
We need to put on the brakes. We need to slow down and settle in. In the words of Dallas Willard, we need to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives. We need to ruthlessly eliminate informational clutter from our inboxes and obligational clutter from our schedules.
We need to start making intentional, thoughtful decisions about what gets in and what we lock out.
A World Created for Rhythm
It’s an unseasonably cool night in late July, and my mind is cranking up, thinking about the back-to-school mania. When suddenly—but not really suddenly, more like oh-so-slowly—the sun slips a little closer to the horizon and its rays find their way through the leaves of our shade tree and they strike my eye and I blink myself present.
My mind stops racing around and, instead, I look around.
The treetops rustle languidly. Birds chirp peacefully. A dog barks sporadically in the distance. The grass stands still. And I become aware:
The world isn’t moving at an increasingly rapid pace; we humans are.
The world is moving at the same pace it always has. It still takes 365 days to lap the sun. This spinning globe still takes twenty-four hours to return us to where we began. The sun still arcs lazily across the sky, day after day after day. The seasons refuse to be rushed. The world will wind down for winter as it always has: the leaves will gather color and fall to the ground at the same languid pace. The geese will still get a head start on their migration so they won’t have to hurry.
Beneath the frenzy we’ve created is a world created for slowness and balance and harmony and wholeness and unity. Beneath all the noise is a rhythm beating slow and steady.
But we won’t find it in our inboxes.
Which is why you should consider unsubscribing from my mailing list. In fact, it’s why you should consider unsubscribing from every mailing list.
The Rhythm of the Blog
On the other hand, if you need to be reminded of the heartbeat pulsing steady beneath the frantic surface of life, then maybe you should stick around.
This is me recommitting to you:
You will find a rhythm here. One email per week, every Wednesday morning at 5am CST. A thousand words or less. A five-minute read. You’ll never be sold anything; you’ll only be invited into something. Every week, a five-minute invitation to remember:
Life is messy and sometimes painful, but there is a beauty trembling amidst the mess. There is redemption humming on the other side of the pain. Our stories are, each and every one of them, sacred and holy. The next scene is always up to us. And there is a murmur of grace beneath all things, assuring us that, no matter what, we are beautiful and beloved and worthy of love and belonging.
A five-minute invitation to remember that in every romance, in every marriage, in every relationship between a parent and a child, in every friendship, in every encounter between strangers, in any space in which two or more are gathered, and, indeed, within any moment held mindfully in front of us, we can come closer to touching the reality of life floating still and quiet just beneath the choppy waves of this world. And the reality is this:
We are here for love: to be loved, to give love, and to become love.
If you need five minutes like that, then stick around. Because we’re just getting started.
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