I worked 250 hours last month. I’m not complaining, and I’m certainly not bragging. A lot of people work more, and a lot of people don’t have the luxury of working. It’s just a fact, and most months are like that. Everyday filled with obligations that if I do not fulfill will surely bring on the end of the world. I don’t know about you, but I’m very important, and only I can do certain things. If I don’t do them, they won’t get done … and what then, huh?! What THEN?!
Have human beings always been like this, or is this a new phenomenon? We sure love to be busy, and we sure love to tell others that we’re busy. We wear that word like a badge of honour. “How are you?” our friend asks. “Oh, busy! I’m so busy!” we reply. Whether we work 250-300 hours a month, or we’re on 10 committees and run our kids around to their 15 different sports teams, we are busy people and all so very important as a result of our busyness. We seem to take pride in it, complete with the accompanying chest pain and sleepless nights.
On Friday I felt like my brain was crosseyed. Seriously. That’s the easiest way to explain it. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I stared blankly at my computer screen trying to get words out on to paper and my brain was crosseyed. My wife and I took a vacation in February, and since then it’s been pretty much work everyday because, again, I am very important. And, as a result, my brain became crosseyed.
I decided that I needed to stop for a couple days, or at least get out of the city, so yesterday after church I retreated to my in-laws cabin in Northern Ontario. I did a bit of work around the yard and cleaned up last night and this morning. I took my time through my prayers and Scripture reading this morning. I didn’t worry about the next meeting around the corner, trying to simply check off the devotionals from my to-do list before the day truly began. Then tonight I went fishing, and something happened …
I had caught a few fish and was enjoying myself. It was just me and one of the dogs, the only noise for miles was the sound of the lure slapping the water. But after an hour I decided I should get back to the cabin and get some work done – at least get through today’s emails. I started the boat and threw the throttle down. The boat skipped across the water smoothly, and as I came to a corner, taking a shortcut between the shoreline and a small island, I thought to myself, “too fast.” It wasn’t that I was necessarily about to lose control of the boat, it just felt like maybe I might. It was just too fast. Everything was too fast. Too much, too fast. I cut the engine.
I sat and turned around to look behind me. The sky was filled with smoke from forest fires in the west. It made the sun, sky, and water look red. It was pretty cool, but I hadn’t really noticed just how cool it was until that moment. Again, everything was quiet.
I just sat there in the little aluminum fishing boat.
For an hour and a half I just sat there.
There was a slight breeze on the lake, and for an hour and a half I just sat there and let the breeze push the boat along. I was drifting. Past another island, through shallow water, and by large rocks … nearly right to the dock at the cabin. For an hour and a half I took my hands off the throttle and off all the controls – I let something else be in control … and I still got to where I needed to go.
“Drifting” in life usually isn’t referred to as a good thing. Especially in our fast paced lives! It conveys a sense of no plan, and no ambition. It conveys a sense of no control!
Maybe we fill our lives with so much busyness because it gives us a false sense of being in control. Drifting is the opposite of being in control. You’re just sitting there, trusting and hoping.
Maybe drifting isn’t such a bad thing…