The recent opportunity of the Australian cricket team to secure the number one world ranking from South Africa had many billing their Perth clash as a world heavyweight championship. The true gulf between the teams was revealed as South Africa blew the Australians away. Undisciplined batting and the absence of a high price being placed upon each innings was contrasted by the patience and skill of the tourists who clearly outclassed their hosts in most facets of the game.
I’ve similarly found many times where I have been anxious to achieve something significant, only to find that I am a long way short. Patience and skill in achieving that which really counts requires time. We are, however, so time-poor today that our fast-paced relationships and our quick-rich schemes seem to unfairly be expected to deliver results that create unmanageable pressure and anxiety.
Just as the patience and determination required in test matches have been compromised by the wham-bam world of the instant coffee variety of Twenty-20 cricket, so too we find a similar distortion of priorities in other areas of life. Taking extra time with study, friendships, marriages, children, prayer, exercise – the list goes on – needs us to say ‘yes’ to some choices that necessarily and simultaneously say ‘no’ to others. The unbridled optimism of a life wanting everything can severely squeeze out what we need to make more time for. I often hear people wanting to rank priorities in life when, in reality, they all exist side-by-side and need to be juggled appropriately. However, whether we ‘rank’ or ‘juggle’, the reality is that there are just some facets of life that need to be eliminated or minimised.
Maybe it is time to acknowledge that some people, practices and pastimes can be interfering with aspects of our lives that need more of us.
We’re always busy, but the clock keeps ticking…