Kait & I have been visiting family down in southwest MN for the last couple days, and we plan on being here for another day (unless we totally get snowed in by this likely-ridiculous snowstorm that's coming this way). Leaving a city with over 4 million people in the metro area and going to a town with a population of 12,000 (which, down here, is one of the bigger cities) is a total change of pace.
In today's world, and especially in the bigger cities, we are being told to GO GO GO GO GO. There's not a second to lose, not a moment to forget, and never a chance for quiet. Even our relax-time is usually dictated by an onslaught of internet, TV, music, texting/email, and whatnot. (Take a look at my post about "being still" from a while back.)
Down here in southwest MN, "relaxing" takes on a whole new meaning. Sure, there's still plenty of a chance for internet/TV/etc (...we're still having all sorts of fun with the iPad Kait won on the radio a couple months ago)... but the culture just feels different
. There isn't a constant pull for our attention down here. There isn't a laundry list of daily tasks that can't go unnoticed. We get to spend time together as a family, I get to catch up on the John MacArthur and Peter Rollins books I'm in the middle of, and we get to basically forget about what time it is.
I wonder if the life down here reflects the life that was commonly lived a few decades ago (or maybe several decades ago). In one of my favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption, Brooks Hatlen was a prisoner for at least forty years before being released on parole. One of his first thoughts about the way things had changed since he had been jailed decades earlier is this:
"The world went and got itself all up in a hurry."
And he was released from prison in the 1960s
. Think about how he would've felt if he would've lived to see today!
Without trying to sound too much like previous posts, I simply want to encourage you all to schedule time for your "day of rest." God built rest into the system from the very beginning (see Genesis 2), but our culture doesn't really want anything to do with that. Go counter-culture. Refresh. Recharge.
Maybe your new year's resolution shouldn't have anything to do with getting more accomplished. Maybe it should have everything to do with getting less accomplished. Leave more time to bask in the glory of who our God is and the amazing opportunity He's given us to be in relationship with Him.
Here's to a new year, filled with a greater intimacy with Jesus. Happy new year, everyone!