I read today where a teenager was hospitalized with an usual and possible deadly disease. The cause wasn’t drugs, eating contaminated food or catching a rare bug while traveling. He’s in the hospital with rhabdomyolysis caused from working out too much.
Of course there could be many reasons why his commitment to regular exercise became obsessive, but it makes me wonder what drove him to excess. I also wonder why so many today seem to express their drive to hurry, get more and do more in similarly dangerous ways.
Families juggle myriad extra-curricular events, drive at blinding speeds around town endangering others and themselves and feverishly add new possessions, degrees and other accomplishments to their personal portfolio.
And yet, what’s being accomplished? Are marriages and families getting closer? Are workers more satisfied? Recent studies suggest they are not. Are churches generally getting healthier? If we’re honest, while there are always positive, balanced people, groups and organizations doing amazing things, it appears that in the big picture, culture in general isn’t faring that much better than several decades ago.
What’s missing? Well, there’s certainly no magic pill or silver bullet that has caused or can fix it all. But in my opinion one component of family life has disappeared for the most part. Rest and margin.
We still don’t know how or won’t choose to slow down. We continue to believe that more is better – more events, more accolades, more money, more stuff, more knowledge, more everything.
And yet, Jesus said it well when He expressed in the New Testament, “What does it profit a person if they gain the whole world but lose their soul?” Important question yet today. What does the soul crave?
Meaning, purpose, affection, appreciation, value, significance. And it will certainly be a major loss if we never understand that our current hunger for more is actually being fed at the wrong restaurant. More of the above will never fill us up. The things we long for will only be enjoyed as we slow down and begin to seek after family, rest, faith, friendship, etc. that will provide more of those soul-filling nutrients.
But we’ll never even taste them at 100mph.