Blog #1: Setting the Stage
“If we are enjoying so much progress, why is everyone so worn out?“
– Dr. Richard A. Swenson
Surfing in Heaven. Outrageous thought! Or not?…
My plan is to take a very serious look at the possibilities of being able to surf in heaven, as I believe there is evidence in the Bible to suggest that it quite seriously could happen. I will address this head-on in a few posts, but first let me set the stage on what surfingforblance.com is aiming to accomplish and how we will get there.
My hope & prayer is that this blog will help & encourage all who struggle to keep it afloat in this Valley of endless work and non-stop demands on one’s time. I am passionate about the need for balance in life, and want to use this blog to help one find it. The rewards to achieving balance are many, both personally and professionally. Things like greater satisfaction in your job/career, personal growth in your God-given talents, quality time with your family, solid relationships with your spouse or partner or friends, regular exercise, and of course, the one we all seem to need – healthy sleep.
Two things which I hope to achieve with this blog, to the best of my abilities:
2) I plan to surround this work/life balance theme with a bit of surfing folklore that my father and I experienced growing up and surfing in Southern California in the 1950’s to 1980’s. Partly, to document that history, but also to demonstrate how surfing has enabled me to keep my life in balance. I believe that God must have had a purpose in creating the Earth to be 70% ocean. Getting in the water to go surfing for me can be right up there with singing with the church choir when it comes to drawing close to God and his creation. Surfer’s surely will enjoy this blog. But if you are not a surfer, think of surfing as simply a metaphor for whatever you would most like to be doing when you are relaxing and recharging your batteries from your work. Whatever is your outlet – just substitute that for surfing. And who knows, this blog might just peak your interest to give surfing a try!
The target audience of this blog are those employed in Silicon Valley, especially those just starting their careers. My experience over the past 25 years is that most of us here in the Valley are fighting for air on a daily basis. We feel the treadmill running too fast, constantly battle the 24/7 pressure of emails and deadlines which never seem to end – and generally feel simply exhausted. There are many variations of this that go well beyond the confines of Silicon Valley and the high-tech companies I have worked for. We all seem to be struggling with it in some shape or form. Everyone it seems is “too busy”.
The fundamental question is simply how one can take care of themselves and their health and family while maintaining a solid career track. How can you grow your career and financial foundation for the future, while keeping your commitments to your spouse, children, friends, and self, such that one is growing and improving in those areas also. Clearly it is a struggle for most of us here in Silicon Valley.
Regarding the “Christian” aspect of my views on this topic, my faith definitely is the center of what I will write about. Without it, I feel the lure of the riches & stimulation of Silicon Valley are quite difficult to overcome in maintaining a healthy work/life balance. The Bible is amazing in its wisdom around this subject. Take for example the topic of rest – something we (and our children) are falling far short on these days. We should not rest because our work is done, we should rest because God commanded it, and He created us to have a need for it. As Jesus was quoted from Matthew 11:28-30:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yolk is easy and my burden is light.”
In Genesis 2:2, God took a day off after creating the heavens and the earth, and there is good reason for that. The 7-day workweek is a road leading to destruction – our bodies and minds need time off to rest and rejuvenate, and are much more effective when they do. It is hard to argue with the Bible on rest.
So read on and lets dig into it. I look forward to having you along for the ride.
Also, I am still a part of the work force here in Silicon Valley – so these blog entries may be spaced out a bit. So bear with me and thanks for joining in!
One of my favorite books on this subject that I will refer to often is Dr. Richard Swenson’s Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.
Dr. Swenson describes margin as “the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits”, and his book (published in 2004) is an excellent review of what has gone wrong in the name of progress, along with some Biblical suggestions on how to deal with it. If nothing else, pull it up on Amazon and go to the appendix where he has some fascinating charts (starting on page 215), which visually depict the impact of rapid change on American society. Just a few samplings of the charts are on Amazon, but I think you will get the picture. Dr. Swenson’s contention is that this shortage of margin in our lives is creating a long list of societal ills, and his focus on scripture as a means of finding balance is quite provocative.