Monday, July 30, 2012

Efficiency Without Enjoyment

Posted by Michael.

When Thomas Merton was asked what he thought the leading spiritual disease of our time was, he thought for a moment, and then answered, “Efficiency”. Most of us are juggling 527 things to accomplish each and every day, and being as efficient as possible is the nirvana we seek. So, we carefully plan trips to the grocery store, so that I will also have time to fuel up the car, drop off a movie, and then meet a friend for dinner by 7. Every event on our calendar is a challenge to link as many other events together as possible, so as to be “efficient” and knock out even more things on our list. The problem comes when we realize that efficiency doesn’t always equate to pleasure.  I can get pick up the prescription, swing by the farmer’s market, make small group in time, and not enjoy a single one of them.  God did not create me for efficiency. He just does not need me to get it all done. I truly believe that it is about process with God. He wants me to engage life, but with Him instead of for Him. He wants me to feel the pleasure of tackling things on my list, not not strain  compulsively as I grasp for the next three things after that. Efficiency without enjoyment is not life’s purpose.


  1. Good grief! That is so true. I consistently find a sense of purpose/pride in how efficient I am without realizing there is no life in that. This is going to make me evaluate a lot of what I do and why.

    One of my biggest yearnings is to really live, not just function, going from task to task. I want to embrace this life I have been given and not waste it striving but cherish the time I have and the people and beauty around me.

  2. This one hit me and it was great timing. I tend to do this even with my leisure time and I will be taking a few days off next week. Great time to throw efficiency out the door and enjoy some stuff. Thanks for sharing Michael.

  3. I second the above amen!!