Pump The Brakes
Hopefully you read the title and thought that my blog got hacked. Nope. I know, I know…for about two months now I’ve been lecturing y’all on being more physically healthy, making more of an effort when it comes to your diet, and being active.
Sometimes I can get so focused on being the most physically healthy person on the planet that I forget about other things that are important too. But something happened last week to remind me that no matter how hard you try to be super healthy, something you didn’t predict can come along and stop you in your tracks.
I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about Boston by now but I don’t care, I’m gonna talk about it. Hearing about the bombings in Boston last week made me stop and think about how sometimes, we just gotta chill out and enjoy life because it will be gone faster than we know it. Yes, as Christians, we know that living on this planet won’t be the end…but that doesn’t mean we have to CONSTANTLY be working and focusing on things that stress us out. We’re allowed to stop and smell the roses from time to time.
I mean, Jesus did it, so why can’t we? If you read about Jesus’ last days, you’ll see that he spent a lot of that time doing things other than traveling around performing miracles and preaching. In Luke 22 we read about how he spent time with his disciples right before he was arrested.
Taking a break from the stress of everyday life to enjoy the company of yourself, God, or someone you care about, is extremely important for both spiritual and physical health.
The Last Supper
How often do you go out to eat with someone you care about and really focus on strengthening that relationship? I’m not talking about when you go out to dinner with people and just talk about what’s going on with their job, or spend the entire time watching some sports game on TV. I’m talking about taking the time to tune out the rest of the world, and focus on the person you’re with and nothing else (except maybe what you’re eating…don’t wanna make a mess).
Most of the time when I’m out with friends, we’re all just staring at our cell phones the whole time or talking about another person who isn’t there. (Horrendous, I know. Don’t act like you don’t do it.)
Here’s a challenge, spend time with one person this weekend who you haven’t spoken to in a while. In fact, let’s take that one step further…since modern technology does a lot more harm than good a lot of times, take all technology out of the picture.
I heard of something pretty cool a while back and I’ve been meaning to try it out. When you go out to eat, everyone at the table has to stack their cell phones, face down, on top of each other, in the middle of the table. Whoever looks at their cell phone first has to pay for the meal (or some other punishment). I bet you’ll be surprised what happens when you don’t have your cell phone to occupy you during those lulls in the conversation.
What Are You Eating?
Most of my meals are shoveled into my face as quickly as possible. I’m willing to bet a lot of you eat like this as well. As our lives get busier, we try to find ways to do things as fast as we possibly can. More meals are eaten in the car, ordered through the drive through, and heated up in the microwave because it’s just easier. Who has time to sit down and eat a meal?
Even if you do sit down and eat your meal, what else are you doing at the same time? Watching TV? Surfing the web? Reading this blog? (I’ll make exceptions for reading this blog, obviously it can do absolutely no harm and I condone reading this blog all day every day.)
Have you ever been driving somewhere and when you arrived at your destination you thought to yourself,
”Oh…I don’t even remember most of my drive here….woops”
Yeah, most of us are the same way with our meals. We’ll see an empty plate but we won’t even remember eating the meal because we were too busy focusing on other things.
This weekend, take time to enjoy at least two of the meals you eat. And make them good meals. Don’t sit down and try to savor something you don’t really even like. How do you do this? Get rid of all distractions. Put your cell phone on silent (not vibrate!). Don’t watch TV. Set down your fork in between bites and don’t pick it up until you’ve finished eating the current bite of food in your mouth.
It isn’t going to be easy. I’ve been working on doing this lately and what the heck! How can one thing like eating without doing anything else be so hard!! Half the time I’m spending so much time thinking about all the things I could be doing while eating that I forget that I’m eating.
Unplug from the World
Focusing on your relationships with others and taking the time to enjoy important parts of life like eating are super important to our physical and spiritual health. But obviously, one of the main things we need to do is spend time with God. In fact, this is what Jesus was doing right before he got arrested in his last days!
Can you guess what I’m going to tell you to do now? Yep. Spend time with God this weekend. This doesn’t mean pray when you’re in your car and have a couple free minutes, pray before your meals, or even spend six hours reading your bible. Just take five minutes with absolutely no distractions, no cell phone, no TV, no internet, no one else, no music, and talk to God.
Don’t know what to say? That’s fine, just sit there for five minutes. But don’t think! Don’t think about what you’ll be doing after the five minutes are up, don’t think about what you did that day or that week, don’t think about what you’re supposed to be getting out of it, don’t think about what you could be doing instead of sitting there like a dummy in complete silence. Just sit there and focus on God. Think of it as a form of meditation.
Five minutes might sound easy but when you’re doing nothing, it’s the longest five minutes of your life. Trust me, I’ve only tried to do this once and I haven’t done it since because it’s crazy hard! I know, I know, you’re thinking,
”Whattt…she doesn’t even do this and she’s asking me to? Who does she think she is? I don’t even know this girl, this is dumb.”
Shush. I’m going to do this too. We’ll suffer together.
This is important! Thinking you don’t have time for my nonsense? Make it a priority Slow yourself down this weekend and enjoy your life. You probably don’t know where to start so it’s a good thing I’ve already given you three great steps!
- Spend time with someone you care about completely free of distractions (ahem…cell phones)
- Take time to enjoy two meals this weekend completely free of distractions (ahem…cell phones)
- Spend five minutes with God completely free of distractions (ahem…computers…..you thought I was gonna say cell phones…didn’t you?)
Will you do it? Let me know in the comments if you have any ideas on how to slow down and enjoy life. And if you take my advice this weekend, comment and let me know how it goes!