There’s no doubt about it: We are rushing through life. With every passing second, there are new innovations, new technologies, new products, and new desires. We have to have them. And we can’t fill our lives with the things we want if we don’t work for them. We can’t get those things by sitting around, waiting for them to fall in our laps. But who ever said that we have to constantly chase the next fad? Why are we putting ourselves on a timer?
Harry Kraemer joined John Morales on Morning Air to talk about how we can put an end to rushing and the hurry-up lifestyle of living according to the clock.
Kraemer began by talking about his love for baseball, one of the few sports that isn’t subject to a time limit. In football, the game goes for four 15-minute quarters. In basketball, they play four 12-minute quarters. In soccer, they play for two 45-minute halves, and in hockey, they split it into three 20-minute periods. But in baseball, there’s no such clock. You could play for as little as eight and a half innings, or you could play for twenty-five innings. It all depends. The shortest MLB game of the modern era was 51 minutes long. The longest took over eight hours to play and had to be completed over a two-day period: 17 innings the first night, and 8 more innings the next day.
Kraemer’s favorite game to go to is the final home game of the Cubs’ regular season because there’s no pressure. It doesn’t matter what time the game is, what the result is, or whether he’ll be home for dinner. It doesn’t matter how many wins or losses the Cubs have. It doesn’t matter if the game goes to extra innings or not. It’s the end of the season. It’s about enjoying the experience of America’s favorite pastime.
“I think part of our problem as a society and as a world is that we’re moving so fast in everything, John, that we’re not really taking the time to experience moments in life,” said Kraemer. “We’re constantly moving, we’re always looking at our phones, we’re always looking at our watches, and we’re always scurrying from one to another. I always ask students, and even executives when I coach, ‘Are we confusing activity and productivity?’”
We are productive when we get important things done in a thorough and efficient manner. We are active when we are simply “doing things.” We’ve removed the descriptor of “important” and we’re not even necessarily doing things as best as we can. If you’ve ever seen the way a puppy plays with its toys, you can see that it doesn’t grasp the concept of prioritization. A puppy simply gravitates to the most eye-catching thing that’s placed in front of it.
We have been conditioned by our culture to never stop moving. Constant motion. Constant activity. We have almost completely lost the ability to reflect and contemplate, even to enjoy. It’s almost like we’re chasing a high of experiencing the spectacular. We’ve grown so accustomed to being shocked, anything that doesn’t shock us is considered “boring”.
Starting next season, the MLB will begin implementing rules to speed up the average baseball game because the modern generation doesn’t have the attention span to sit and watch for three hours. They’re trying to make the MLB keep pace with social media and other forms of entertainment. But Harry Kraemer and others think this is a mistake. They shouldn’t be following others in speeding things up. The world should take a page out of baseball’s book and slow things down.
Next time you go for a walk or to run an errand, leave your phone behind. Don’t wear your watch. Take in the world, the people that inhabit it, and experience the goodness that God has made. In the famous words of Matthew Broderick’s Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
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