My paternal grandmother inserted countless pithy sayings whenever one applied to the circumstances of the moment.
A stitch in time saves nine.
Penny wise, but pound foolish.
A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.
Grandma had one for all occasions. You can add others. The one that came to mind recently is, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”
Life in offers so many ways to enrich one’s self and to one’s children’s lives. This aspect of the community draws households to live here. Lessons in gymnastics, dance, martial arts, musical instruments, voice lessons and various sports are available.
Then there are service organizations, professional associations, book clubs, cooking classes, book signings, concerts, plays, tastings, events at cultural centers, and let’s not leave out activities at the many houses of worship.
Some of these engagements are “taken in” to benefit the individual, while others are a channel to benefit others. How noble.
And yes, there is family, then friends. Soon, a life that at one moment seemed to be nothing but the same old, same old has become a complex schedule on the calendar and one is frantically running around to all these enrichment activities.
Missed appointments pile up, accidents happen, things have to be done a second time, friendships become slighted and angst level’s soar.
Psalm 46 includes these words from God, “Be still and know that I am God.”
No, this does not mean that meditation classes now need to be added to your schedule. Rather, build intentional spaces into your schedule, know God, then process what the picture of your day looks like from the perspective that God is God—and you are not.
It remains the responsibility of the individual to know when there is enough on one’s plate and when to say, no more.
Having lived in the community for four years and identified this facet of Naperville’s culture before our first child arrived nearly three decades ago, my wife and I vowed to buck the trend. We were not going to sign our child up for all the paid, refereed, uniformed classes that kept all our neighbors in their cars non-stop.
The trouble was our son had few children to play with because they were off at their adult structured events. If he was to have socialization opportunities, we needed to sign him up for a program! We enrolled him in one program.
While David Elkind’s 1981 book The Hurried Child dates itself with references to vinyl record albums and The Laverne and Shirley television show, it still merits reading.
The children of our community are among the most highly programmed in the region as well intending parents sign their children up for multiple enrichment opportunities. Perhaps too many.
Place a high value on unstructured, home-grown neighborhood play, opportunities to be still and not engaged with audio or video stimuli and re-establish family mealtimes.
As a pastor, I will point to God’s Word and its wisdom about cultivating one’s spiritual life. Peace can come from sitting still, but a peculiarly healing sort of peace comes from knowing God and from knowing that He is God and we are not.