I’m joining in with a group of writers for Five Minute Friday where we’re given a prompt (this week it’s MORE) and write for five minutes about it.
I wake from a dream in which I’m being courted for a job. It’s a good job—the kind of business analyst type work I used to do, and I’m tempted. In my dream, I think that maybe I could do it part-time, and still retain a measure of the sweet post-work life I’ve come to love. I wake, feeling like maybe I dodged a bullet.
Then I see that the prompt for this week is more and it makes me smile. Yeah, we’re always looking for more, aren’t we? More money, more house, more clothes, more time, more food. But wisdom tells us that sometimes the better thing is not more, but less.
Thomas Merton said that “To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times.”
More can, most definitely, be experienced as a kind of violence. When we spread ourselves too thin we become less effective and less kind. We wear ourselves out. Relationships change. And that multitasking thing? It doesn’t really work. Intentional, steady, focus on a thing—that’s where the gains are made.
And I think how, in some ways, my life is smaller than it was when I was still working and I understand the lure for more. I sit for a while and remember that in the deep there is richness not available in the shallow. The siren call of more fades away.
These years, and the opportunity to pray more and read more and write more and go deeper with my Creator, have value greater than any temporal more. They are gifts to be cultivated, used wisely, and shared.
# # #
I’m over at the InScribe Writers Online blog today with a post about some things we don’t think too much about in the world today: contrition and humility. The post tracks nicely with the more prompt too.