Joyless Urgency

Writer Marilynn Robinson (quoted in Oliver Burkeman’s 4,000 Weeks, said, “The spirit of the times is one of joyless urgency.”

How are we going about our days? Do we deeply embody the fruit of the spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—as we accomplish tasks at our job or around the house?

Do we just try to get to the end of the day?

Burkeman’s book discussed time management and productivity. But, he said, productivity is a trap. At one company I worked at my colleagues and I used often the metaphor of a gerbil wheel—the wire Ferris Wheel where the gerbil runs and runs and goes nowhere.

Are we trapped in a productivity gerbil wheel? Joyless urgency? Feeding the need to go faster and faster yet going nowhere?

Get off the wheel. Pause. Breathe deeply. Exhale slowly. Remember whom you are serving. If you cannot bring back the joy of serving and doing, perhaps it is time to move on.

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