Control: Modern Life and Constant Demands
Does the Bible have anything to say about the pressures of modern life? For example, the pull between work and family?
Whether we are trying to find some version of success at home, at the office, in our community at large, we can become overwhelmed by all the things we leave undone any time we stop working. The list of things to do can be endless unless we make an effort to edit it down to something reasonable… after all, there is always one more project that we could take on, or perhaps we should be working ahead on the next thing that’s looming on our horizon.
We constantly try to work smarter, to manage our anxiety and stress, to control what is ultimately uncontrollable because we live chasing the lie that we work just a bit harder, maybe a bit harder than the next person, we can attain the type of success that has been eluding us. We know we can’t technically perfect, but couldn’t we be a bit closer to perfect if we did just a bit more?
In my experience, success seems to be a moving target – at one point it might mean taking the ideal instagram photos of your kids, so you can feel like superdad or supermom (at least until the next stage of development rears its head). Another time, it means you have to find a way to do more so you can impress your way to the next level at work. No matter what, you could always be doing more, so you never feel like your measuring up.
But is this how God made us to live – a life of relentless, escalating demands? Is faithfulness meant to feel like drowning in commitments? I explore that question when I explore Psalm 127.
It is hard to believe that a songwriter thousands of years ago would have any wisdom that would be relevant to us today, but if we understand the imagery a bit better, I promise we can uncover some ancient and worthwhile lessons on navigating this life.
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.