Stop And Look Around You

7 Feb

“If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
Leo Tolstoy, Essays, Letters and Miscellanies

I know a lot of people who are workaholics.  Heck, I would put myself into that category as well.  It is easy to become hyper-focused and to go on and on and on in performing tasks.  One task done?  Check.  Begin the next task.  Next task done?  Check.  Begin the third task.  The cycle is self-perpetuating.  The only problem is, when the cycle is going on, there is so much that is missed along the way.

What all of us need to learn is the importance of stopping.  It doesn’t have to be for long.  It doesn’t have to be so often that we are in jeopardy of losing our jobs.  However, we have to stop from time to time in order to keep things in perspective.  Are we still going in the direction that we had planned?  Are we still achieving results?  Are we doing good for others?  Are we improving ourselves?

These questions, and others, cannot be answered if we are in the midst of doing.  They can only be answered when we pause.  Pausing gives us a chance to take a deep breath and to get clarification.  Sometimes that clarification comes from family or friends.  Sometimes that clarification comes from co-workers or employers.  Sometimes that clarification comes from God.

If we take the time necessary to look around us and to listen to others, we can find the perspective that we need in order to continue.

FAITH ACTION:  Take time today to look around you and appreciate all the people who come into your life and all the experiences that come your way.