Spiritual Simplicity

In our frantically driven, fast-paced, complex lifestyle, we suffer from fatigue, little margin, shallow relationships, fractured families, drifting marriages, painful loneliness, coping addictions, and neglected kids.

BY: Chip Ingram

Boat on a lake
 

All You Need Is Love

When I launched this series at our church, I knew I would be hitting some sensitive, raw nerves. The guilt and shame associated with pushing hard, passing your spouse like a ship in the night, and not giving your family the attention you know they need is a tough thing to face. I knew that “lecturing” these highly educated, professional people would not produce positive results. They may have the same basic needs as the rest of us, but the perceived pressure and demands of the high-tech world is like watching busyness on steroids.

So as people filed into the worship center, the worship team played the classic Beatles song “All You Need Is Love.” No words, no singing, just an instrumental version that had everyone’s toes tapping and boomers mouthing the words. The service would start in a few minutes, but I wanted to plant the idea in people’s minds even before we started that “all you need is love.”

You see, much of being driven, overextended, and always on an insane schedule is rooted in just the opposite of that song title. In fact, there’s a dance that goes by many names all over the world that explains our spiritual and physical exhaustion and emotional fatigue. I call it the Silicon Valley Shuffle because that’s where I live, but this dance is done in various forms from Omaha to Hong Kong. Regardless of the name you choose, there are four steps to this dance that accelerate in rhythm and beat with every measure. See if you can recognize these steps: bigger, better, faster, more.

Four Words that Define Our Mind-Set

These four words drive our lives, our schedules, our relationships, and even our souls. They define the American mind-set. Our competitive businesses want to do things bigger, better, faster, and in greater quantity than their rivals. Our competitive job market prompts us to put in a few more hours and then a few more on top of that, because if we don’t . . . well, anyone can be replaced. And our consumer wants and needs drive us in the same direction. We’re never quite content with the status quo, so we’re constantly looking to acquire whatever is bigger, better, faster, and more. That’s how marketers appeal to us as consumers, and that’s how we survive in this competitive culture as innovators, entrepreneurs, and difference makers. We’re cutting-edge people in a world of opportunity.

Continued on page 2: Simplicity »

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