We live in an unprecedented time in which technology and accessible information, intended to advance our lives, have actually overtaxed our capacity to rest and be productive. In The Externally Focused Church, Rusaw and Swanson give an appropriate solution to this phenomenon: “To move ahead, we must determine what we will leave behind.”
Jim Collins, author of the best-selling book Good to Great, illustrates this concept as he tells about his desire to read more and the steps he took to reach that goal. To set up his reading room he bought the perfect chair, a wonderful reading lamp, and all the books he wanted to plow through. However, when he came home from work, he would flop on the couch, flip on the television, and catch up on the news or the first quarter of Monday night football. He was glued to the TV, and the books remained stacked on the chair in his reading room. When Jim finally got rid of the TV, his reading accomplishments were realized. He learned that it’s not what you add to your life; it’s what you abandon that will make the difference.
To live productively in today’s busy culture requires that we abandon something. What is keeping you from enjoying a creative, productive life? Consider the words of the apostle Paul: But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ . . . (Philippians 3:7,8).
There is unspeakable gain when we choose to leave behind the rubbish!