Beware of Efficiency

Posted inMaking Space for Grace

Many families suffer from an over-packed schedule. I was one of those families. When my children were young, they were enrolled in numerous activities including scouts, music lessons, sports, faith formation and even robotics! Now, families also factor in time spent with media, such as video gaming, streaming movies and connecting online in all sorts of ways. I can’t help but stop and wonder when is it time to stop and wonder.

Jesus showed concern for the physical, mental and spiritual health of his friends and he teaches us to do the same. In Mark 6:30-31, we read: ” The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said to them, ‘come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’”

Jesus is telling all of us to rest a while. Maybe we need to focus less on doing and more on being. That’s just what Pope Francis said during a general audience at St. Peter’s Square on July 18th.

He said, “Let us beware, brothers and sisters, of efficiency, let us put a halt to the frantic running around dictated by our agendas. Let us learn how to take a break, to turn off the mobile phone, to contemplate nature, to regenerate ourselves in dialogue with God,” the pope said.

After hearing that, I wondered to myself what’s wrong with efficiency Holy Father. Then, I realized that efficiency is all about us doing what we need to do and it’s not much about caring for those around us, which is huge priority for Christians if we follow the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.

For families, this gives us permission to slow down and focus on each other more.  Like my mother-in-law used to say, cleaning the house when you have small children is like shoveling the driveway while it’s still snowing. It’s ok if the house isn’t perfect and our lives are not perfect. Resting in the Lord and resting from the hectic pace of life to focus on each other is worth it.