An 11 year old classmate was visiting Natalia for some summer hang-out time last week. She breezed in with her usual dramatic flair, declaring how awful the pressures of this first year of middle school. I caught the conversation’s tail end, about when to shop for school supplies. The list was long and daunting, scattered over a page with several subjects and teachers.
“I told my mom I couldn’t wait. I needed to get it done NOW!” she said in a loud voice.
Cute and yet a little troubling to hear a child not yet a teenager, echoing adults who are always stressed out. We adults talk easily about our suitcases of life, proudly packed with events meant to heap meaning into our schedules. But instead, often our decisions just create more pressure, just make the suitcase harder to fit it all in and slam the lid.
Stress and chronic stress down to the cellular level are becoming the norm. Pharmaceutical companies find new avenues of monetary gain by targeting younger and younger populations for prescription drugs. The latest is anti-depressants for preschoolers, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic and family medicine doctor, who persuades people to take charge of their health and aim for wholeness, not just treat symptoms.
Does a trend of stressed out kids alarm you as much as it does me?
I’ve loved the philosophy of life that many are adopting to slow down, to trim the daily schedule. Yet only recently have I realized how difficult it is for me to simply enjoy the people and the moment that I’m living in. Why? Because I am constantly thinking about how to get more done, more quickly. The racing mind syndrome.
It’s burning me up as I see it now, to wrestle and struggle so. Inflammation, high cortisol issues have been taking their toll a while. How do I get out of the maze and into rest, peace, joy in living?
Our family of 3 as well as our intentional community are taking time to reconsider: how did we all get to such states of brokenness of heart, mind, and body? What will it take to reclaim our lives, energy, and attention to live with purpose that’s joyous, and satisfying, not hurried and depleted.
A new day is dawning. There is this life-giving: we don’t have to choose such a frantic pace. We can choose to carve some time out and think deeply and well, share our hearts and pray for each other, figure out how to stop the madness and embrace sanity and well-being as well as rich meaning in how we spend our lives, talents, and attention. Take time to redesign how our days and evenings will go.
We can heal, be happier, and healthier than we ever have if we take a Sabbath rest from all our racing thoughts and examine our lives and dreams. Am I doing what really matters to me, what brings me joy and helps others? Would it be encouraging to share the journey with others, the goals and dreams that make us who we are, that make us come alive?
In future posts I’ll share some specific ways we practice Sabbath as individuals and as a community. It’s not a legalistic duty, I promise. It’s recreate time, fun, comforting, motivating time. Do you have Sabbath practices that renew you? Are you living the life you feel called to live?