Sunday, August 25, 2013

For the Whipper and the Snapper

I would like to take a few moments to address the issue of work and what its role in our lives should be. I know there are others, like myself, that have the problem of "shutting off". I love my job, I'm blessed to be able to do what I do for a living. But sometimes to be effective and to be healthy we must learn to the find the light switch. 

Over the summer I was interviewed by Michael Winters at The Sojourn Church in Louisville. (see the interview HERE) Michael and I have worked in a number of capacities over the years we have known each other and hopefully soon I will finish up my own interview with him for our blog. He asked a question about my production level and my honest answer was I couldn't help but make work. Sometimes I can laugh that off and sometimes it strikes me as guilt when I cant let a problem go even when I am supposed to be present somewhere else. When I was in Japan a number of years ago. Insert Flashback Picture...

(The gentleman on the right ran the wood shop and was a master craftsman. The gentleman to the right is a national treasure and a 10th Generation Karakuri puppet maker...he is treated as a rockstar.)

Back to working...When I was in Japan for a puppetry workshop they would work at a normal pace and every hour they would take a 10 minute break. On the first day I kept working through the break and the instructors approached me and told me to take the break. I said I was fine and I was here to work hard. (in hindsight it probably came off a bit like an addict... because I was) He put his hands on my tools and said nothing just smiled and looked over to where everyone else was taking a break. I reluctantly took the break. I then realized that this method of balance in work is something that has a defining impact on their culture and it is one of the reasons they are so focused and efficient. By the end of the workshop I realized how healthy it was to create space. Space that is not meant to be filled with other things to be "productive" but rather just space. 

I recently was reminded of this when listening to a podcast by Meredith Dancause (you can listen to it HERE) It is on the topic of Gluttony. It has really changed the way I think about my time and my self worth. Well worth the listen. Anyhow she addresses fast food and how it is not only unhealthy for its content but also for its context. How we fill our schedules to were have not made time for our most basic need. We fall into the crush crush crush go go go mentality and miss the opportunity of slowing down. I learned that you this running can actually be a form of addiction. Our bodies release adrenaline to deal with the go go go crush crush crush and we get hooked on it. Why do we strap our worth to our jobs? To production? 

I have learned  a lot of lessons in this area of my life over the past few years. More than can be shared in a blog post but I will share one. I have always respected the way the jewish faith views the Sabbath. The Sabbath is supposed to be a day of no work. Our culture too often uses it to get everything they couldn't get done on saturday or during the week. But I think it is beautiful that God gave us a day every week to remind us that we are more than what we do or produce. The real question is can you accept this space. More often than not we fill the space because we are scared of facing it. I challenge you this week to work hard and make it a point to create a small amount of empty space.

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