Push, Push, Push!

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler

A climber on a steep cliffI don’t understand the popularity of extreme sports. You will never see me schlepping a pack up K2 or scrambling up Mt. Everest’s icy peaks. Nor will you find me bouncing up and down at the end of a bungee cord or climbing into an Indy race car. The most dangerous sport you’ll catch me at will probably be Mario Kart. To my way of thinking, life is challenging enough without taking on an activity that could, with one miscalculation, end in death or maiming.

Why do some people find such joy in pushing the limits? Is it the rush they get from flirting with danger? Is it the feeling that they are somehow bigger than life or the belief that ordinary rules don’t apply to them?

Though most of us don’t engage in extreme sports, many of us have made pushing the limits a habit. We sleep less so we can do more. Push, push, push has become an American mantra. Unfortunately, it has also added tremendous stress to our lives.

Wayne Muller points out that “we can work without stopping, faster and faster, electric lights making artificial day so the whole machine can labor without ceasing. But remember: No living thing lives like this. There are greater rhythms that govern how life grows . . . seasons and sunsets and great movements of seas and stars. . . . We are part of the creation story, subject to all its laws and rhythms. . . .

“To surrender to the rhythms of seasons and flowerings and dormancies is to savor the secret of life itself.”1

If you are living a rush, rush life, ask yourself why. Are you willing to pay the cost of regularly ignoring the God-given rhythms by which creation operates? Find a way to slow down and “surrender to the rhythms of seasons and flowerings and dormancies” so that as one of God’s creatures you can savor the secret of life. 

1. Wayne Muller, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives (New York: Bantam, 1999), 69.

(Image courtesy of Cristinica at freeimages.com)

 

 
Originally published December 15, 2014.

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