One of the main things I’m prioritizing this year, (and this lifetime) is the pursuit of stillness in a world of noise, achievement, anxiety, and hurry. I fear western culture has become the product of consumerism, instead of being the consumer who determines the products. Without noticing, we have let our needs become insatiable as peace becomes intangible. We have let ourselves become controlled and torn apart from a current we don’t even realize we are racing down… or know where we are going. We have a need for constant movement for the sheer sake of movement and have lost grip of peace and purpose as we fumble with a million different thoughts, none from the present. Rush has become the drug we need to make it through another anxious day, and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of hurrying everywhere, and of being unable to actually rest when I’m supposed to. I’m tired of not knowing how to exist when I’m not achieving something. I’m tired of making do with this low-grade anxiety I mostly ignore, were it not for my body reminding me it’s there by grinding my teeth, biting my nails, etc. So here are some of my fairly unedited thoughts I am processing as I explore stillness, sabbath, and rest in my life.
The storm orbiting around us.
Twisting, turning, falling, soaring:
Anything that keeps us from the torture of silence.
We get the dopamine high from rush, from hurry.
We run from task to task,
“How are you?…”
At the end of the day,
Have we truly been more productive?
And more importantly,
At the end of the day,
Do we like who we’ve become?
A common word.
An inevitable action.
We all are becoming something, someone.
But are we intentional about it?
Culture, society, consumerism
These become the current.
Are you riding in the whirlwind current?
If so, do you like where it’s taking you?
I’ve been in it.
And I’m tired.
I’m tired of hurrying.
I’m tired of talking about how busy I am as if it’s the cross I was destined to bear.
I’m tired of feeling like I always need to be in the fastest lane on the highway,
The quickest line in the store,
And posses the highest speed technology on my devices…
God forbid I have to wait
God forbid I have to be still.
How counter-cultural it is
Simply to exist.
We must all be something, do something, go somewhere.
That’s all we think about, the feelings that keep us from falling asleep at night,
The needs we can’t achieve so we break down when we finally are forced to stop.
I have a proposition:
Let’s be intentional about who we are becoming.
Let’s slow down enough to actually enjoy the moment we exist in,
Instead of missing them as we try to exist in the next.
Let’s get rid of the clutter.
Do you need those things,
Or does having more make you feel like you’re getting where the culture of consumerism wants you to go?
Do you need to walk that fast,
Or are you trying to escape just a little?
Do you need to turn on Netflix,
Or are you avoiding the thoughts and feelings you need to give attention to?
Are your existence and pursuits an avenue to achieve love,
Or do the way you pursue and exist pour out of love?
We must ask ourselves these questions
We must SLOW DOWN
To ask ourselves these questions.
Life is beautiful, and life is short.
How many precious moments have our bodies already been aimlessly forced to endure alone while our minds exist far away into the future or the past?
How many glorious sunrises have we ignored because our minds have already traveled halfway through the day?
How many times must we wonder with tear-filled eyes how we ended up where we did,
How what was once important has fallen into ruin without our notice,
How we’ve become what we swore we never would.
Let us adopt these qualities,
Let us determine what current we will swim in.
Let us embrace moments of stillness,
Instead of grabbing furiously for noise and movement like a drug.
Let us be consumers of peace,
Not the product of consumerism.
Let us walk in intention
Not run in madness.
And when we run,
Let us run because we know why we do so, and where we are going.
Let us not trade peace and intention for rush and achievement,
And let us not reject the discipline of stillness. It will accomplish far more for us than anxiety could ever dream of.
Let us honor the process of becoming
Instead of demanding instant gratification.
Beauty and peace exist to be discovered in the present
And we’ll never find them when we don’t also exist there.
Let’s be in it…
a. b. martin