Listening to more than our small group of friends.

“Leisure,” she said, “is a first-world luxury.”

 

I understood my friend’s reason for saying this. Like her, I often assume the whole world suffers from a lack of rest and an abundance of anxious stress.

Unfortunately, our “whole world” often consists of people who share our obsession for craft espresso and Snapchat filters. Her view of rest – and on many days, mine – comes from the unexamined “groupthink” of our shared circle of friends. We all think this way.

In following Jesus, though, I am learning that this kind of automatic thinking can cause me to walk in sin – without realizing I am doing so.

Like worshipping busyness.

A recent insight from a Moroccan woman forced me to examine myself:

“Life was simpler back home when we grew and ate from our garden and gathered together as community,” she said. “Here in America, life is nonstop.”

The Apostle Paul warns that each of us should test our actions, not being deceived into thinking we are without sin (Gal. 6:2-4). But when we all think and act in the same or similar ways, we can easily label “normal” what is actually sin – like the worth I equate with being very busy.

So, I have started asking myself: who am I allowing to speak into my life? And I am beginning to allow other voices – which until now almost solely included Millennials and those who grew up in similar neighborhoods – to become part of the body of people God wants to use to shape and guide me. I am learning how to listen to older men and women, people from other countries, and people of color.

I need their Christian love. I need their voices to speak openly into and test some of the deep-seated – and often untested – assumptions I hold to be true. What about you? Your health (and soul) just might thank you.

 

Resources

Lane recommends two short reads: Slow Down: A Timeless Approach, which unpacks how the gospel frees us to slow down and how important this is in our discipleship, and The 3D Gospel: Ministry in Guilt, Shame, and Fear Cultures, offering a “trove of insights” as we diversify our lens, beginning with the gospel.