As I pushed my girls on the swings at the park recently, I overheard a conversation between two parents discussing the latest indoor play centre. They were planning to take their kids. It would be so much fun. Expensive but fun. I was struck by the irony of taking the kids to the park but becoming too busy planning more adventures to stop and play.I do this.
I miss moments because I’m not present. I feel lack and then get about planning ‘more’ to compensate. I sit in church but forget to listen. I take my kids to the park but forget to play. I share a meal or a movie with my phone in hand then wonder why I feel lonely, busy, unrested.
As I pushed my girls and refocussed, I reminded myself that I didn’t ‘need’ to take my kids to a costly indoor play centre. What I need to do is engage in the moment and enjoy it for what it is.
Do you ever overlook the mundane in search of the grand?
Do we overlook less in pursuit of more? More importantly why?
A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to pick up some extra work as a teacher. I like work, but it was a lot extra with a young family. We knew it would be a stretch, but reasoned the money would be worth it.
It was not ‘worth it.’
For three weeks I was a horrible mum, less than average wife and a down right sucky human being. To compensate the lack of peace in our home while we engaged in the extra madness, we spent most of the extra earnings on a ‘much needed holiday,’ meals out and activities to ‘relieve the stress.’
Essentially I worked hard so I could afford to spend more. In the process, we ended up with less, not more. Less peace, less kindness, less time, and possibly less money after we spent it to reward ourselves for ‘working so hard.’
This train of thought has opened my eyes to other areas where we also overlook the less in pursuit of more:
We waste the weekend on Netflix then long for ‘more hours in a week.’
We squish God into the corner then crave closeness that a conference brings.
We swap coffee for sleep, but they are not the same.
We are not content with less food so we overindulge then work our butts off at the gym.
We push through sickness (we can’t afford time off) then we end up sicker.
What if less, in fact, is more?
What if what we desire is right before us? Are our lives are so crowded that we can’t sort the gems from the mindless activity?
I feel compelled to turn the tide.
I want to live more intentionally, present and attentive in every moment.
This month I went without Instagram, I turned my phone onto aeroplane mode more often and left it at home when I ventured out. I began to retrain my brain to be content, thankful and receive what is before me.
In our fast paced materialistic society, slowing down and desiring less is a constant tension.
As I have begun to slow down and experience ‘less’ I am I reminded that I am enough, that I have enough, that He is enough.
Paul’s says in Philippians 4:11-12
‘I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want’.
I have discovered in desire for less, my desire for Him is more.
What are you desiring right now?
Could it be right under your nose?
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