un·ease: anxiety or discontent
As I sat in my quiet time this morning I thought about how busy my mind has been the past couple days. From the moment I wake to the final thoughts of the day, my mind is BUSY. At first I wouldn’t say that I was “uneasy” per se, but I have noticed some days are filled with a sense of rush, or urgency, or discontentment, even on occasion anxiety. Since being out here in Arizona my overall self-awareness has grown. It has had to. You don’t enter into full time training without taking into account all areas of life and the positive and negative influences effecting each area.
It is really hard in the day and age we live in, with so much at our fingertips, and the overall culture of “make the most” of every moment, to truly walk by the Spirit. I think about how often I multitask in life; so much input, all the time. Yes we only have 24 hours in a day and yes I believe that God wants us to make the most of them. But what if making the most doesn’t mean doing the most. What if it doesn’t mean being the busiest, or accomplishing the most, or having so much input in our lives that we never truly process any of it. I don’t believe that you are reading this right now and saying to yourself, “man I just have so much free time I don’t know what to do with myself”. No, you are probably on the verge of checking out RIGHT NOW and thinking about the people you need to contact and the list of things you need to get done before dinner. Oh yea, dinner. I still need to figure out what to make for dinner… Okay Focus. Just stick with me for a few more minutes because I want to share with you a couple practical ways I’ve found that really cultivate the ability to walk by the Spirit* even in the busiest moments.
Five things to cultivate a spirit of ease amongst the chaos of life…
1. As you head into the final moments before bed (about 45-60min) turn your phone on airplane mode and leave it that way until morning. There’s something about being disconnected from the world that allows your brain to slow down and process the day.
2. Leave that phone in airplane mode for the first 45-60min of your morning! In the morning I wake up and make a good cup of coffee and spend some time writing, reading the Bible, and praying… Not only are our defenses down and undistracted by all the emails, social media, and texts guaranteed to be received once we connect, but by spending some time with God we set a tone of peace for our entire day.
3. Actually waking early enough to have 45-60min of quiet time in the morning. This is actually one of the hardest disciplines I’ve learned to implement, but it is BY FAR the most beneficial. There will always be excuses and a few more minutes to sleep, but trust me friend, it’s so worth it.
4. Don’t be afraid to drive in silence. I’m all for music! And I love me a good road trip with great tunes, but there are many moments throughout the day that I find myself driving in silence. In these moments I can let my mind wander and process the things.
5. When reading a book, watching a movie, writing a blog, or even simply having a conversation with someone, place your phone out of your peripheral vision. Out of sight, out of mind. I’m all for multi-tasking in the right situation, but I believe we are starting to have such a short attention span that we aren’t truly able to process and learn from the things we are engaging in.
Simple. Yet hard. On any of those points above did you think to yourself “great idea, but that could never be realistically implemented in my life”?? Well then, I would challenge you to ask yourself why? I’m not saying there aren’t special circumstances that will arise that prevent you from any one of these things, and your life situation is absolutely different than mine, but I believe that our minds are so busy today that we are missing out on the life God has designed for us. Let us be intentional in the way that we live. Let us disconnect with the intention of connecting with our Creator. Let us let go of that spirit of unease created by information overload and embrace the spirit of ease cultivated by quiet.
*So I say walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh… The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:16, 22)