Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
“Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts”-Psalm 90:12
Pressure to Produce
Recently, I’ve been spending quality time in the Psalms. It has been so refreshing!
This Old Testament book, like the book of Proverbs, transcends religion. The Psalms are about connection, intimacy, authenticity and depth. As I listened to an audiobook on the ancient monastic practice of singing the Psalms, the narrator said something that really challenged me.
In my own words, her admonition went something like this: stop being so busy and make room for God even in the middle of a hectic, demanding day. She reminded her readers that we sometimes behave as if the things we have to accomplish are so important that life cannot go on if we do not finish that one last thing for the day. We must, therefore, avoid the temptation to idolize productivity. Practically, the author suggested that we can say a short midday prayer, in quiet reflection. Nothing extravagant. Just a brief rest to quiet our anxious souls.
No one will dispute the value of being productive. Families, companies, sports teams and countries depend on this admirable quality. Yet, in our human tendency to be imbalanced, we often do not know when to stop. If we’re not careful, things that truly matter get left behind. NBA star Lebron James captured it well recently when he watched his son, Bronny, play basketball for the first time in four months after suffering cardiac arrest. Bronny is only 19 years old. Lebron had this to say: “I think the most important thing, who cares about the win or the loss, the kid was standing tall and standing strong at the end of the game…That is a blessing in its own right, and that is a win. He’s won at life, and everything else at this point is extra credit.”
Perspective. Perspective. Perspective. Being alive as we approach 2024 is a loving act of divine grace. May we never forget this gift.
Pause and Pray
Pause and pray every day to keep productivity in its proper perspective.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.