Why All The Rushing?

We still see remnants of leftover Fourth of July decor in the stores at drastically reduced prices. And now that is blended with fall and Christmas. It’s still summer, and yet we are being pushed by stores and marketing wizzes to grab up the holidays before they are gone. Halloween pumpkins and ghosts are strategically paired near a Christmas display, and it looks beyond strange to me. When I was a child, we did not rush the holidays.  Santa did not come until after Thanksgiving, period. Once he arrived in our local parade on Thanksgiving Day, it was fair game on the shopping and all things Christmas. But over the years, it has changed. Big commerce with their thirst for money has thrown our special days together like old clothes tossed in a bag for donation.  They have changed us from loving the holidays, to dreading them. We are no longer just browsers in our local stores, we are full-blown shoppers! whether we like it or not, and we better adjust to this speed shopping mentality. If I want to, I can purchase Christmas wrapping paper, a hollow plastic pumpkin, and Valentine’s candy in one stop well before October. It is not just the holidays that are pushing us and manipulating our behavior. Everything has seemed to speed up. Weeks feel like they fly by, and before we know it another month has passed, then a year. Where has the time gone? Is always a topic of conversation. We dress our children way past their years in adult clothing and teach them rapidly in schools to conform as little cookies from the same mold. Parents run from one event to the next as overtired and stressed as their child from the pressures to be the next greatest athlete or scholar. Why? Because the world has set the standards for us. It is not about our belief system, or faith. Actually, God has little to do with it. The rule is run or be run over. Sadly, it is happening in everything.  I loved having my children little. I wanted to soak up every minute with them. I loved the holidays. And even though I got caught up in shopping it was never at the extreme it is now.  Heart attacks for those between ages 25 and 44 have risen 30% in the last few years.  Depression and suicide rates are higher for young and old. And yet, we continue on this hamster wheel to do more and do it faster. The Bible talks about rushing in Psalms 39 verse 6. David is talking about life in this verse and how a person is here and then gone so quickly. He references it to being like a phantom, (a ghost), here and gone. And he asks the question, what becomes of all you have gathered in your thirst for more? Life is short. We are only given a small amount of time on earth. If we spend what we have been given rushing about and not taking time to enjoy or do the things that matter for God, what have we really accomplished? Our goal in this world is not to conform. Not to adjust. And not to rush about doing things because we are so busy that we become ineffective. So, how do we stop this cycle and get off this fast-paced train? We first must ask God to help us slow things down and put our lives in perspective. Working for a living is not optional for most, but it has to be balanced with family time, and church activities. Yes, school is important, but having children in every sport and activity is not. Pick and choose one or two things that your children enjoy doing as after school activities. Attend church, and keep your family grounded in the things of God.  Remind yourself often, that you cannot be everywhere, or everything to everyone.  Make choices and learn to slow the pace. 

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