I hopped on my favorite machine at the gym the other day. Just to get me to the gym I have to go through hours of internal motivational speeches to myself. Somehow though I accomplished getting myself moving and made it to the gym. I popped up on my favorite hiking machine and started it up. My usual routine is 30 minutes on the machine then a little weight lifting. I am not really one of those music people or television watchers. Occasionally I will indulge myself, but usually I use the time on the machine to reflect on my day and the week ahead.
As I began my workout, a nice lady jumped on the machine next to me. She proceeded to put her earplugs on and I thought was going to listen to some music. All of the sudden I heard her talking. Was she talking on her phone? Yep, she sure was. I was hopeful that it was a quick call to her kids or someone important. That was wishful thinking. She began to talk to the other person about moving and cats. That was fair enough. I could handle that (it was still a little annoying though). Unfortunately that was the not the end of the conversation. She began to give the person on the other line some medical advice for a personal problem. Let me tell you it was enough to make me blush (or maybe even throw up). I looked down at my time – I had only accomplished 10 minutes. Dang. I was going to need to listen to this longer…
So I started huffing and puffing and trying to make this person understand that her phone conversation was completely inappropriate. She didn’t catch the hints. I would try to catch her eye – to no avail. The person on the other end wasn’t understanding her medical advice so she went into detail. Lots of details.
I started to pray. “Jesus, really? This is how you reward me for treating your temple with kindness? I am trying to work my saggy body out and you put this person next to me? Why? What have I done to deserve this?”
I decided in order to figure this out I was going to have to leave my favorite machine and head to the other side of the gym. I opted for another machine and began to reflect on what just happened.
Why has society become so oblivious and rude? Have cell phones and electronics really made us forget all about manners?
There are days that I leave my cell phone at home – on purpose. I try to remember what it was like when cell phones didn’t exist. I try to recreate the simplicity of life when I grew up (without technology).
It all boils down to just that – simplicity.
Life is so complicated now. Everything is right there at your fingertips. You snap your fingers and wah-lah, you have whatever it is you desire.
I understand that this woman was probably just returning a call. She probably figured it would be beneficial to multi-task. She could call her friend back while still getting in her workout. Maybe next she could make a few calls to set up appointments for the week. She was checking off her list right there next to me at the gym. Snap. Snap. Snap.
Emails. Text messages. Phone calls. We can talk to people anytime we want. It is immediate. The world of technology has made us forget the importance of simplicity.
Sometimes I dream about living in the days of “Little House on the Prairie.” It truly seems like a dream come true (on some days). Ma and Pa working all day long in the fields and feeding their multiple children from a fire burning stove. Church on Sundays was something the whole town participated in together. If you wanted to reach someone, you walked miles to talk to them. Your workout was built into your daily routine. No sporting events. No traveling by airplane for work. No PTO. Just simplicity. Mrs. Olsen was probably the one in charge of bring the “busyness” of life on the prairie. I could see her pushing for a PTO to organize events and finding extracurricular activities for her kids to excel in. After all, Mrs. Olsen struggled with doing the Lord’s work. She had a hard time letting go of her precious “things” in life. We all are reflections of Mrs. Olsen at some point in our life.
The thing is if we lived our life like Ma and Pa, we would see that the simple life would give us time to concentrate on what was truly important: the Lord’s work.
Sometimes I think we all get caught up in the multi-tasking of life. We forget that it is our choice to be busy with things that have no concern to the Lord. We forget that we can always choose simplicity with no repercussions to our family.
When we choose the Lord over everything else, then we gain everything that we possibly could ever need.
So, Jesus placed me next to that woman the other day, to remind me about simplicity. Every once in a while I have to step back and remind myself that I am choosing to be too busy. I am choosing other things over the Lord. He was reminding me to simplify.
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.