I’ve spoken to many people over the years that state they hate their job. When I ask them what they want to do they either don’t know or they follow it up with why they can’t do it. Many of these are men. They work their job in order to provide for their family. This is honourable and should be highly commended. It doesn’t take away from the fact however that they often live with a sense of discontentment because they’re just not passionate about what they do. I’m sure the same can be said about you whether you’re a man or a women, married or not married, kids or no kids. It’s easy to slip into going through the motions of life just doing what we’re doing. Part of the solution is to ‘Redefine The Why’ as seen previously (http://wp.me/p1gDan-u1). But discontentment is not only cured through purpose but also position. It’s not just why we do something but it’s also what we do that makes a difference.
REFOCUS THE WHAT!!!
I am not a handy man. Just ask my wife. She’s far more equipped with a hammer and hacksaw than I am. I don’t feel emasculated by this in any way shape or form. I’m serious it’s a non-issue. It’s nothing really… Ok so maybe a little. But the reality is God has given me other gifts. This is what I tell her anyway. On a serious note though one of the reasons we are distracted and restless in life is simply because we’re not doing something we love and are passionate about. If you’re a young reader of this blog, be encouraged that this can take some time to work out. You may not know what you want to do in life yet. You may not have a sense of purpose. That’s ok. It takes time of trying different things and trusting God. Additionally the pathway towards this is still work. You can’t just sit and wait for the perfect life to fall in your lap. You’ve got to get up and go after it. It doesn’t just happen. The road of delight is often at the end of the road called discipline. If you’re a little less young and you feel stuck. Please be encouraged through this post and consider picking up your ability to dream again. It’s never too late.
Tim Keller rightly notes that ‘freedom is not the absence of restriction, true freedom is found in living within the right restrictions according to our design.’ Keller uses the illustration of a fish. A fish will experience most freedom when it lives within the restriction of water because it’s living according to God’s good design. Likewise God has designed us. The better you understand and live according to his good design the greater the freedom you will experience in your soul. You will be more joyful and fruitful. Restlessness is less about the hours you work and more about what work you do. Every job is stressful. Every job has problems. But not every job is something you were created for.
RE-RHYTHM THE WHEN!!!
If you don’t prioritise your life someone else will. Your boss, your customers, your kids, your friends. Everyone wants a piece of your life. Every time you say yes to something you say no to something else. But it’s your life. God gave you this life to live and it will be to God that you give an account. What is most important to you? What often gets squeezed out of your schedule that you need to put back in?
Another problem with the view of balanced living is that we think of balance through the lens of schedule rather than rhythm. Consider the creation account in Genesis 1. Each day God make something and then at the end of the day he celebrated what he had made. STOP! Consider that for a moment. How often do you even rhythm celebration into your day. We don’t even have celebration as a category for a scehdule apart from birthdays and public holidays. God did it everyday.
Consider God’s weekly rhythm. Day 1 – Work/Celebrate; Day 2 – Work/Celebrate; Day 3 – Work/Celebrate; Day 4 – Work/Celebrate; Day 5 – Work/Celebrate; Day 6 – Work/Celebrate; Day 7 – Rest, enjoy, be satisfied.
Now consider your weekly rhythm? What jumps out to you? A few years ago my wife and I evaluated our family rhythms and noticed the lack of celebration and gratitude. So we decided to rhythm into our daily family rhythm what we call our ‘1 Thing’. Essentially after our time of prayer with the kids before bed we all pick ‘1 Thing’ we are grateful for from that day. At first I thought this would be really great for my kids and help them to be grateful. But honestly this one new rhythm has had an immense impact on my life. It simply helps me to finish everyday with joy, no matter what my day held.
What do you need to re-rhythm into your life? Think big rocks first, the most important things first. When will you rhythm holidays? When will you rhythm weekly rest? When will you rhythm gratefulness, satisfaction and recreation. If you’re reading this and you’re a mum, you probably laughed at the notion of recreation. But think about it. You’re a far better mum to your kids when you’re well rested and when your tank is full. So it’s actually better for your entire family for you to get some ‘YOU TIME’ and do something you love and enjoy. It’ll fill up your emotional tank that in turn helps you to mum well. If you’re married with kids and reading this then make some time with each other tonight and find a way to help each other to rhythm this into your life. It’ll be great for your entire family.
RECONNECT THE WHO!!!
Funerals have a way of reminding us of what matters in this life. It’s not what you have it’s who you have. What makes life most enjoyable isn’t the work we do, it’s the people we do life with. Who are these people? Who brings joy to your life? Who makes you laugh? Who encourages your soul? Who can you drop your guard with and just be yourself? WHO?
My wife and I are very different. I am highly energised by people. She is highly energised by tasks. So I realise not everyone is the same. But what is absolutely universal is we were created for community. God designed us with a deep need for connection. So regardless of where you are on the energy spectrum you need good people in your life. Who are those people? And how can you Reconnect with them and make that a part of your new life rhythm?
To reconnect to something means you need to disconnect from something else.
Ever get phantom leg twitches and think it’s your phone ringing? You look down and realise your phones not even in your pocket. I bet even after realising this you still go find your phone just in case there’s some type of electrical and chemical connection between your phone and your leg? Yeah you need to disconnect! I’m guilty of this relational crime. Why don’t you try and consider disconnecting for a 24hr period. No social media. No screen in your face. Just be present with whomever it is you love. Family, friends whoever. Turn off your phone. Put away your screen and RECONNECT!!!
In conclusion there are 4 things you need to do to improve your quality of life. Redefine the Why; Refocus the What; Re-Rhythm the When; and Reconnect the Who. These 4 things will help you to work hard and remain restful, fruitful and enjoyable!
NOW GET BACK TO WORK!!!