Sometimes feelings of inferiority, ineffectiveness, and sheer uselessness crowd my brain. Generally, this happens after I encounter people that are smarter, better, or more productive than I am. Often, this turns into a sort of frenzied panic, stemming from the sneaking suspicion that I will live out the next 50 years simply spinning my wheels.
In the past, I've simply reacted to this by working harder and faster. I've crowded my schedule with easily completed tasks so that I can feel effective. I've over-committed so that, at the end of the day, I can feel that I accomplished something substantial. I've set difficult goals so that I can feel a sense of satisfaction at my achievements.
And the end result is…….a sense of being terribly under-slept because there really aren't enough hours in the day. Frustration because items on a to-do list or goals achieved don't necessarily make me feel fulfilled. Irritation at everyone around me who doesn't understand why I'm so tired and stressed and frustrated.
Constant communication ever at my fingertips only increases this sense of panic. And an article by Al Mohler makes me suspect that I may not be alone. Whenever a sense of boredom or a lull in my schedule seeps in, I check Facebook or my e-mail or my phone messages so that every second is filled to the max.
And ever so slowly, I am learning the value of rest. George MacDonald said, "Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness." I've finally started to realize that I don't have to simple produce and do and go and accomplish.
There is, of course, a place for hard work and diligence and accomplishments. But there's also a time to sit back and realize that, without me, the universe really will keep on spinning. God isn't waiting on me to accomplish His purposes for the rest of humanity. And I'm not as crucial to the rest of the world as I like to think.