Sound familiar? Is it the beginning of your response when a friend asks to meet for a last-minute coffee to catch up? Or what you say to your mum when she asks to call you in the middle of a jam-packed week? We are the busiest we have ever been. We are the busy generation. We have mastered the art of multitasking to an extent that we could list it as a skill on our CVs.
Social networks reveal to us just how much fun other people are having. Our virtual calendars, if not filled with events, look like vast expanses of wasted time. An evening in, at least for the extroverts among us, means you’re lonely, or simply do not have enough good friends to call. Absorbing all of this, we buy into it and start to look at time in terms of weekends or months, only made worthwhile if filled with coffee dates and parties. To be busy is to be constantly in motion, relentlessly moving from thing-to-thing or person-to-person. If we’re not always on the move, then we must be doing something wrong.
I saw a great quote on Instagram a few months ago and it said this: “My head feels like there’s too many tabs open.” If you’re anything like me, it’s a feeling that you’re all too familiar with. It feels like your mind is so full that you can’t think, and all you want to do is press pause on life for an hour or two. We say that we don’t have enough time to do all the things we need to do, but the truth is that often our priorities are aligned wrongly. Often we’re filling our lives with things that don’t need to be there.
It’s when I stop that I make time to listen to God, to see where He’s guiding me and to read the Bible. It’s in these intimate times that I am able to quieten my mind. I gain peace in the pausing. It’s a time that I greatly value, yet don’t always seek. We all need to take the time to breathe, to think, to reflect on how our lives are going. For some it’s doing exercising, for me it’s enjoying a coffee by myself or searching the bookshelves of a charity shop. It doesn’t matter what you do to pause, as long as you just do it.
It’s only by stopping to look around that we can see the bigger picture of what we are doing and who we are becoming. Sometimes we need to stop moving in order to make sure we’re not just moving, but moving forward in the right direction. To return to the earlier analogy, maybe it’s time to look at your tabs, choose which ones to leave open, which ones to close for good, and which ones to add to the bookmarks bar for another day.