I grew up with 4-by-40 automobile air conditioning: four windows down while motoring forty miles per hour. The habit hasn’t left me, though I confess to changing the fan speed with the flow of traffic. On a hot summer’s day many years ago, I was driving home from work with the windows rolled down and the radio volume turned up, thankful for a Friday that promised a welcome weekend. I made my way to my usual exit off the interstate without incident only to find it backed up. We were all bumper-to-bumper and inching forward in a losing race with the snails on the side of the road.
Have you ever felt harassed and helpless? The continual demands for command decisions in daily life can eventually overwhelm us to the point where choosing what to pick from the restaurant menu causes the same level of stress as weighing out end-of-life care options. Blood tests and regular diagnostics can measure the stress levels of our bodies. Counseling can help us discover the stress levels in our minds. But we aren’t just body-and-soul creatures. We are spirit beings who live in a body and possess a soul. The sense of being harassed and helpless is rooted in the spiritual.
When busyness is worn as a badge of honor, biting off more than we can chew becomes habitual. The possibility of chocking out on our (over) commitments increases proportionately as we rush on the treadmill and convince ourselves we are making headway. Slowing down is seldom considered a solution, so we run faster and tell ourselves we are running better as we close our eyes to the treadmill beneath us.