Tuesday, June 20, 2006

balance - week of june 20, 2006

My middle boy, Shay, and his friend, Cole, when we camped last year up by the 'Lava Tube' in Flagstaff, AZ. It almost looks like Shay's pants are on fire. I assured his mom that they weren't.

Blessed are the balanced for they will outlast everyone else.

Well, I’m preparing to take July off of work. It’s really a strange thing to consider that I will be out all month. My brother in law, who's from South Africa, tells me that each year South Africans get a month off and an extra month’s paycheck from their employer… a month off and an extra month’s paycheck every year… You wonder why South Africa didn’t fix some of their problems sooner? Cuz they were all off on vacation! (or holiday as they say)

I’m just messing with the South Africans. It’s not as if working all the time is the best approach to life. Japan has the highest suicide rate in the world which in repeated studies has been connected with their unhealthy perspective of the importance of work. (I wont site any articles but just google Japan suicide rates if you need to).

Somewhere in the middle there is a balance. We should be able to look at our year and note significant times off to recreate (that's recreate and re-creating). We should also be able to look at different seasons of life and say the same thing. Recently I was in a meeting with a couple of older gentlemen that I admire when the topic of taking time off came up. Both men spoke of trips they had taken with their sons. I think one mentioned a special trip where he had taken 3 or 4 weeks off with his son to travel. That, of course, doesn’t happen every year. Those kinds of things happen maybe a few times throughout a lifetime.

The point for me is: throughout this past month, have I built in margins in my life… throughout the past six months… the past year… this past ‘season’…? Overall, am I a balanced person? Oswald Chambers said, “It is easier to be an excessive fanatic than it is to be consistently faithful.” In the context of what I am talking about here being an ‘excessive fanatic’ means working too much… sometimes enjoying the work too much… at the expense of other things in your life. Truly, anyone can do that. It takes discipline to stop sometimes and do nothing. That’s why it’s important to absorb Max Lucado’s backward thinking from time to time, “Don’t just do something. Stand there.”

So, that’s part of what I will do in July… just stand there… I'm pretty sure that it's the best thing for me during this season in my life.


1 comment:

jtc said...

How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward. ~Spanish Proverb

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. ~Chinese Proverb

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it. ~Attributed to both Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris

Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live. ~Margaret Fuller

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. ~Ovid

Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering. ~Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne

Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way. ~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You