Balanced Life

Increased Expectations – Increased Tension


I was listening to a podcast the other day on the drastic changes coming our way over the next few decades as technology advances. It will be unimaginable.

The podcast hosts were so excited as they saw tremendous potential; they were optimistic about the fate of the human race.

But in some ways I wasn’t so convinced.

The Tension

To be sure, our productivity in some sense has increased dramatically due to technology. Standards of living have increased over the last few decades. And there was a time when it was unthinkable that I would take one day to travel to Mongolia for a missions trip or be able to publish my thoughts on time stewardship for the world to see in a matter of minutes.

But you probably feel the tension too. There’s a little bit of dread as we think about the future.

Cell phones, email, and now smart phones: these held the promise of creating more free time for us. Instead they’ve sucked up time and weighed us down even more.


Despite any objective measurement of increased productivity, we feel more frustrated. We feel more rushed.

The problem is that technology increases our ability, so we feel like we SHOULD be able to do so much more. Our expectations of ourselves clash with the reality of what we actually do.

Regardless of technology, we’re still created beings with limited time. And as created, finite beings, we will always have this struggle.

Perspective Shift

I don’t think God wants us to feel this frustration. I believe he wants us to rest peacefully in him, trusting him and accepting our created nature and limited resources.

But that might be the direction of another post. For this one, I want to ask this question: should we really be so focused on our feelings? What if part of the solution to this issue was to shift our attention away from our own frustrations and instead to place our thoughts on those outside of us?

What if we were bold enough to evaluate our productivity SOLELY on how we loved others and advanced the kingdom – rather than our own sense of peace at night?

“Help me to place myself always under they guiding and guardian care… to deem it an honour to be employed by thee as an instrument in they hands, ready to seize every opportunity of usefulness, and willing to offer all my talents to they service.”
Puritan prayer

Photo Credit: Peter Alfred Hess (Creative Commons)

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