If I find myself complaining about a mere irritation, sometimes I have the good sense to laugh and say, ‘But it’s a first world problem.’ This humbling perspective enables a return to thankfulness for the many blessings of my life.
First world problems are certainly real, however. Since moving to Sydney last year, I have become alarmed at the pace of life of many people here. Hearing of young Mums rising at 4.30am to attend a gym before dropping off the kids to childcare or school, working full-time and coming home to more work and a late bedtime, worries me! Where is the life balance here? Where is the time to sustain family relationships, friendships, let alone mental and spiritual health? Rent and mortgage pressures, a high value on body image, combined with workforce competition are a toxic beverage our young people imbibe.
How did life become this frenetic? Our priorities have changed and our values with them. It’s not all bad, but there is definitely room for improvement. Where did the spirituality go that anchored us with a sense of peace and balance – our own space to be reflective about life? Is it worth reclaiming? For the sake of our society, I pray the answer is yes.
Remember to give yourself permission to stop and ‘smell the roses’, speak to your neighbours, or go for a peaceful walk.
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid’ – Jesus, as recorded in the Bible, John 14:27 (ESV)
First published in The Village Observer, March 2015
The articles here are currently written by Liam McKenna, Lane Cove Community Chaplain.