Every age has a certain spirit or mood or climate to it. Ours is busyness. We’re all running like lemmings from sunup to way past sundown. What’s with all the energy drinks? There must be dozens now. RocketFuel. CrankYouUp. Not to mention the coffeehouses on every corner. Why do we need all this caffeine? And why do so many of us now need sleep aids to rest at night? Our grandparents didn’t. We thought the age of technology would make life simpler, easier. It has us by the throat. We need to operate at the speed of computers. Seriously, I’m irritated that my e-mail takes four seconds to boot up now, when it used to take ten. I realize I’m not the first to put this down on paper. People have been making this observation for a long time. We are running around like ants do when you kick in their hill, like rats on a wheel, like Carroll’s Mad Hatter.
And for some reason, we either believe we can’t stop or we don’t want to.
Like the prodigal son, we are not going to do a thing about this until we wake one day to realize we are sick of it and we want a different life. Till then, the life of not living but getting things done has its benefits. For one, it provides us with an illusion of security—I am tackling life, I am staying on top of things. It’s a false security, but we don’t believe that. We believe it’s our only road to security. Stay on top of things. We might not be so honest as to say, “God doesn’t seem particularly involved in taking care of these things for me, so I have to do it.” But that is our underlying conviction. After all, if we believed God was going to take care of all that concerns us, we wouldn’t kill ourselves trying to hold our world up.