time management, rest, reflection

Are You Building Your Cell?

Are You Building Your Cell?

© 2006 Wellness Clubs of America.com
“It is necessary to move slowly to walk with God,” commented the prisoner.

“What do you mean?,” his visitor asked.

“What to you have to do when you return home?,” the man rejoined.

The visitor proceeded to detail the many activities that awaited him. Phone calls to make. Lessons to prepare. Appointments to keep. Mail to open and responses to write. Meetings to attend. Reports to file. E-mails to answer. A never-ending list of responsibilities to attend to.

“My life was like that before I was sent to prison,” the old man replied quietly. “These years have been among the most joyous of my life. I have been free to commune with God in a most intimate way. It was made easy for me. My cell was built by others. You’ll have to build your own.”

The times in which we live are characterized by activity. It is so easy for us to fill every moment of every day with busyness. In times past people were cautioned to avoid burning the candle at both ends; to take time to rest and recharge. I fear that many today are not content to burn the candle at both ends; they are burning it in the middle as well. At the beginning of the 20th century individuals averaged 9 1/2 hours of sleep nightly. The advent of electric lighting caused people to expand the day and the number of hours devoted to sleep decreased. Late night television, a mid-century innovation encouraged people to stay up even later than before. With the advent of the personal computer and the internet it appears that we live in a world that never sleeps. It is not uncommon for me to receive an e-mail posted at a time such as 2:36 a.m.

The body is designed to have a regular period of restorative sleep. Some require less than others, but each of us will reach a point at which our health begins to suffer if sleep is neglected.

As important as sleep is, a regular time of peaceful contemplation and meditation is even more essential to good health. It is not necessary to be sent to prison involuntarily nor is it necessary to retreat to a cloister or hermitage for this purpose. It is essential, however, that each of us “build a cell” into which we can retreat on a regular basis to reflect upon the true meaning of life and to refocus our activities.

The immediate reaction to this suggestion may be, “I don’t have the time!” The point is that you must make the time. Many labor today under what has been called, “The Tyranny of the Urgent.” Unfortunately, the truly important and meaningful things in life are rarely urgent, and the urgent things of life are rarely important.

I have attended enough people in the last days of their lives to know that when death approaches most of the activities which consume our time will fade into insignificance. We will remember and value most the time spent with family and friends, the moments of quiet reflection in the midst of a busy day, and the relationship we have cultivated with our Creator.

These times must be made a priority if they are to occur at all. They should be the first items placed in our day-planners, not the last. Only then will we take time to be still and know that He is God. When we make this commitment we are assured that we will renew our strength. We shall mount up on wings as eagles. We shall run, and not grow weary. We shall walk and not faint. We need only remember the words of the prisoner, “It is necessary to move slowly to walk with God.”

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