Last night I was part of a discussion about how to grow our choir. Our numbers fluctuate at times, but it seems like lately we’ve settled at the lowest participation rate that we’ve ever seen. We tossed around a lot of ideas. Should we change the time on the same night? Should we meet on a different night? Should we try weekends? Would it even matter?
I don’t think that it’s that people don’t want to be there.
I don’t think it’s because people don’t enjoy it.
I don’t think it’s because people don’t care.
I think it’s because people are tired.
And this problem certainly isn’t exclusive to church choirs.
I see it in schools and hospitals and clubs and other organizations.
Our universe is (literally) constantly expanding. Our world is (figuratively) constantly expanding.
And while our waistlines may literally be expanding, our physical capabilities are not.
We want to contribute to every thing that is important to us
But we still have to sleep and have some time to recharge.
We are all involved in so many things
(some of them are really, really good things)
that it makes it hard to really be committed to any of them.
Because of our extensive obligations, we have lost the ability to joyfully say yes to things that we really want to do.
Because we find ourselves doing what has to be done, we aren’t allowing ourselves to enjoy what we want to do.
Because we struggle to keep up with everysinglelittlething, we aren’t able to sit and savor the moment.
And I think it’s killing us.
We think we are living, but are we?
Are we really living or are we merely surviving?
I am at a place in my life when I am craving simplicity.
We have cut back on going and doing and focused more on staying and being.
We have been much more purposeful about saying yes and no – to ourselves, to others, to things, to activities.
We have taken a step back to try and figure out not which things are most important,
(because there are so many important opportunities out there, it’s hard to decide which is most important)
but which things deserve our attention most.
We certainly don’t have it all figured out.
We sometimes waste our time and resources on things that we shouldn’t.
We sometimes lose focus on what is really most important.
We often get caught up in this society-of-yes that we live in.
But we are trying.
And I hope you will, too.