We have been conditioned to feel guilty

whenever we are not "productive"

 

by Vinita Hampton Wright

Stillness, even for the purpose of rest or prayer, can feel like wasted time to someone who lives in a world that values wealth, competition, high productivity, full schedules, and general self-importance. If we stare off into space for half an hour—and fail even to take notes on the thoughts that come to mind—that’s half an hour lost. The writer must always be recording and reflecting; the executive must always be strategizing. There’s no such thing as being "off" in such a culture. When we are stranded in traffic, we panic if there’s no device by which we can check the news, return calls, answer e-mail, or download a song or television show while we wait.

 

And if we do schedule a day away for retreat, we are tempted to load up the day with books to read, spiritual exercises to try, and journals to fill. Even in a retreat context we struggle to get still and do absolutely nothing.

 

Read more at Days of Deepening Friendship