Social media, online shopping, microwave meals: we live in a society that is always on and always in a hurry. Our world is so fast paced we often find ourselves with a constant desire to take shortcuts to maintain this constant pace. Clients and work orders are becoming more demanding with shorter timelines. We are expected to be able to know and access data in an instant for work purposes. Relationships and passion are expected to blossom right away. Our mobile phones are no longer for our convenience, but for the convenience of others.
We have become so accustomed to seeing major life events on social media rather than calling a friend or stopping over for a visit. While it can be an excellent tool for staying connected, social media should never be a substitute for real face-to-face conversation. Like everything else, it seems to look to shortcut even our social lives under the guise of “being connected.”
Newsfeeds bombard us with #hacks on “How to build a million dollar business in 2 months or less”, How you can “Cook Pasta in Just 60 Seconds,” or “How to get a woman to fall for you in one night.” All of these ideas are building on the principle that faster is better. However, the best things that you can enjoy in life are never to be rushed.
We can pretend to manufacture being more productive or being hyper-connected, but the reality is that the best things take time. Men all across the country are being pressured into thinking we can rush these things. But there are no shortcuts to the excellent things in life. It’s time to be UNCOMMEN and recognize that if you want the best things in life, you can’t buy them. Instead, they require cultivation and patience. Here are some of the best things in life and why that can’t be rushed.
A Great Marriage
A great marriage requires time. It takes a whole lot of effort. You have to work at it. You have to dig and cultivate it. You have to forgive each other continually. Above all, you have to be utterly loyal to each other. I don’t know of a single couple that has a great marriage that started on day one of their honeymoon and lasted their entire marriage without effort. There are no shortcuts there.
Great Relationship with Your Kids
Do you want to be close with your kids and have a great relationship with them? You have to put in the time. You need to be there for the day-to-day. You need to show up at their games and cheer them on no matter how well they do. You need to be there when they make mistakes and make poor choices and discipline and love them nonetheless.
Reading a Good Book
They say you become the stories that you read (or watch). To read a good book, it takes time. You can’t skip words or pages; otherwise, the book won’t make sense. Instead, you need to dig into each word, each page and understand the meaning of a text. One of my favorite books is Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. I’ve read it several times, and it’s been a challenging read each time as I try and understand not only the words but also the broader meaning. Reading a good book, and remembering its truth takes time. The same can be said of the Bible. If you want to get the benefit of reading Scripture, you need to put in the time. It can’t be an afterthought.
A Home Cooked Meal
Once a month my wife and I put the kids the bed early, and we cook “fancy” as a date night. We try and choose more challenging recipes that require more ingredients and often it requires a lot more time. We realize that while we can’t cook like this every single night, we tend to enjoy that meal a whole lot more because we put the time in, rather than take out or some quick microwave meal that lacks flavor or nutritional value.
“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” — Proverbs 16:32