We Are Moving At Neck Break Speed
Do you ever feel like we are like you are rushing through your life? You can never seem to slow down or really catch up because responsibilities keep moving you forward at a breakneck pace.
Today, the world can often feel overwhelming. We are facing a culture with record diagnosis in mental health issues. People are not living shorter lives due to preventable lifestyle diseases.
The self help phenomenon has turned into its own industry with record sales. So many of us feel lost with no one to give wise guidance or direction in life.
I want to drop a potential bomb on you.
You and I are at a pivotal, unique point in human history. Our culture, our entire global structure is moving beyond the realm of human capabilities.
Culture has been speeding up over the last few centuries and has hit a fever pitch in today’s world. It can be hard to see from our viewpoint zooming from one place to another in our commodified world.
For perspective, let’s look at someone who was born in 1900 and died in 2000., what progress was made in that century alone? For starters, they would have seen the 1st humans take flight 15 years before they became instrumental in the worst war ever seen.
Cars were invented and became the dominant mode of transportation. Grocery stores were invented in the 1920’s. Before then everyone’s goods came from within a 100 mile radius of their homes.
The 2nd world war changed the face of labor markets forever bringing women into the fray for the first time. Shortly after America landed on the moon then was almost torn apart by culture wars of the civil rights movement. The century ended with the internet and the 1st “end of the world crisis” in the Y2K phobia.
So what’s the point?
The point is you and I are in a world that is moving faster than we can even process. We have been robbed of advice from past generations because they haven’t seen anything like this either. I was a missionary on college campus, and for years watched this phenomenon affect the young and vulnerable.
Most of us have experienced the “generation gap” where we our parents just don’t understand us. Today we are in a place where those who have just graduated and even college seniors, struggle to understand incoming freshmen.
Their mindsets are changing so quickly it’s like having a parental gap in the span of every 5 years.
Now, I’m not gonna sit here and say life used to be hunky dory care free. That was just never the case. However, according to some like Richard Swenson who wrote the book “Margin”
Our culture is moving faster than ever and is approaching the limit of human capability to process and evaluate it.
Throughout most of history, it was common for you to do the same trade as your father, because your got the tools passed down from his grandfather who originally gave made the tools.
Not only was the profession the same, but so were the techniques, and the approach from generation to generation. Hence why tools could be simply passed down. True novelty only came around once in a century or so.
Take the printing press for instance. That one invention broke centuries of dominance by the Catholic church and sparked the largest religious reformation in history to that point.
Today, the invention of the internet could be said to be even bigger, but so could crypto currencies, and the rise of woke culture that has swept the globe.
Our technological and cultural advances make the world a much different place not only century to century but even year to year.
The False Creator
The modern, urban landscape puts us in a mindset that breeds anxiety and business by it’s very nature. It has stolen any margin you have to build peace. If we are passive then this cultural landscape tie us up in knots confused to where we even went wrong.
Most of us have experienced the 10 minutes late phenomenon. That’s where you are 10 minutes late leaving the house and the whole day’s off. By the end of it all you’re coming home an hour late, going to bed almost two hours late.
The next morning it leaves you exhausted tempting to leave 10 minutes late the next day.
You chalk it up to getting older, but even your sleep patterns have fundamentally changed since the invention of electricity. People used to go to bed an hour or two after sunset. There wasn’t Netflix and we didn’t walk around with personal computers in our pockets.
They would sleep for 4 hours then wake up with this crystal clear thinking that was actually the source for all their planning and deep thoughts…and sure, other things.
Then they would go back to sleep to raise an hour or so before sunlight. All without alarms or dragging themselves out of bed!
Instead of margin, modern urban culture offers us ultimate control. The city has different zones and you can choose which region best suits you. Don’t like the temperature? Change it!
Because our entire world can be encapsulated inside one small building; we can change all of its surroundings based solely on our desires, no matter what season it is.
This type of thinking often steals any margin we have in our finances. Sure, but look at the world you have created for yourself! You have the biggest TV, the best game console, even granite countertops and a farm sink your wife always wanted.
The problem is it leaves a hole that always wants more. In your diet, you are given more choice now than ever with our super grocery stores. H-E-B + and Super Walmart Centers.
Let’s not mention 90% of the food on the shelves is man made and manufactured. Sure, it’s stealing any margin you have in your health, but that’s a small price to pay for infinite control and choice any time of year.
That, and you can’t beat the taste!
There’s only one problem.
We were not made to be a creator! We were made to be stewards. We are the ones who are supposed to take care of another’s property.
You and I steward the Earth, our finances, our health, even our time and our relationships if we are believers. They are not ours, therefore, we cannot simply do whatever we want with them without natural consequences.
Putting the Puzzle Together
From the years 2008 to 2020 I lived in cities exclusively. That’s where I went to college and later worked as a campus missionary. It took me a while to notice, but as my responsibilities grew I noticed anxiety became like a heavy backpack I was always carrying.
I was at work on time, all my house and marriage duties were taken care of, but I never truly felt “at peace.”
Finally, Fall would come and I would find myself in a deer blind on a crisp morning. The world was quiet except for the birds chirping as the sun peeked over the horizon.
Often I would spend the time reading the bible or just mulling over life goals that I never gave myself time to process in the day to day.
At first, I just chalked it up to loving being out in the country. I loved hunting and I loved being outdoors. Cool fact, I guess. Then, I would notice how light I felt for months afterwards.
It wasn’t just some high I got from hunting. I’ve never liked the cold, and processing meat for 2 weeks was grueling work, even if I did it with family.
So,why did I feel so much better afterwards? It didn’t dawn on me until I started doing annual retreats in a national forest at the end of every school year.
I would hike in with just a backpack and spend a week living in the woods. Any food, I had to pack in or catch. All my water for the week I filtered out. I slept in a hammock amidst a forest full of bugs, and I spent the majority of every day in an extended time with the Lord.
After a couple of trips like this the puzzle started coming together.
I was intentionally putting myself at the mercy of nature and giving up all the control the modern world provides. Then I was taking time away from media, and putting myself before the God of the universe and asking to hear what he wanted to tell me.
Every year I walked away with powerful insights encased in my journals. I would find myself turning back to the entires multiple times throughout the year.
They have been a source of guidance and a light that continues to show my path forward.
Then the truth dawned:
Romans 1:20 says
“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature.”
God meant for us to live in connection with his creation so that it could speak about Him to us. I’m not going to say cities are evil, or that living in one is evil, but it is a choice that has huge consequences.
It is so easy to separate ourselves from nature in a way where we lose touch with its ability to speak to us and thus restore us.
Consider Romans & this verse:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God because God is love.” 1 John 4:8
In this context the author is speaking of loving one another and that love displays God’s nature.
Well, if his creation, even being broken, is able to show us His nature, then it makes perfect sense that putting ourselves in better touch with nature will be healing and restorative because it is displaying God’s nature and power, which is all based in love!
Creation vs. Culture
To be honest with you, this is a bit of a novel concept for me.
The pieces have been there, but it is only recently that I have understood how they came together to form a witness that acts as a source of restoration and peace.
If I want to be restored and healed by nature then I need to give up some of the control I exercise in my life. Culture wants us to think of ourselves as the forgers of our own destiny. “You can be whoever you want to be.”
That philosophy just leaves us with a hole in our hearts that always wants more.
Instead I have begun to look at life like a huge river, and I’m in a kayak with an oar called “choice.” I have control over where I go in the river, but my choices are not the only force acting upon me, and often times aren’t even the dominant force.
I am constantly moving forward whether I like it or not. Everything around me is changing, and I can either choose to fight the river’s current or I can learn to navigate through it.
It is important to distinguish between culture and life at this point.
Both can be seen through the same imagery, but putting them in the place of the river means drastically different things. Culture is essentially public opinion that forms a system of belief.
Though we are all affected by culture and even subculture, that can and often should be fought against with the Bible as our guiding light towards what is objectively right.
The “river” I’m speaking about is God’s creation as a whole.
This is the river that we need to navigate through building a connection with it’s rhythms. If we can learn to match the pace God set for the rest of the world, then our lives will reflect more life and production as a whole.
At the risk of being long winded or too allegorical take a fig tree.
I don’t know if you are familiar with them, but we have a couple in our backyard. They only produce fruit once a year, that’s usually June through August. Every two years, they need to be cut down so new growth can come up and produce quality figs.
The best year is actually the 2nd year after trimming. That’s because the 1st is taken up with actual growth instead of fruit bearing.
When a fig tree bears it’s fruit it isn’t worried about growing. Every piece of spare energy is going into it’s fruit.
For some reason, we as humans think we NEED to produce fruit in every season, every day, 24/7 if we could.
Where is our time for growth?
Everyone’s way of approaching this is going to look different, but it’s part of the reason I chose to work on a ranch instead of living in a city. I wanted a deep connection with nature and her raw forces.
Mostly, because I tend to go off track easily and get lost in a world of my own creation.
My Invitation To You
At my core, where my heart lies, I want nothing more than to invite you into the natural rhythms of nature! Believe it or not, this is what I see as my biggest value to you.
My desire is to be a source and a guide for you to enter into nature’s rhythms. I want to see you experience the witness of love and healing God can offer you through nature.
Even, maybe especially, because you are blessed to live in the city.
Right now, we are about to do our annual bulk beef sale. It is where you can get a ¼ , ½ or a whole cow worth of beef at amazingly good prices. On top of that, you are subjecting yourself to nature’s process.
Neither you or I can rush along the development of these cattle without drastic consequences. That’s why we deal in grass fed & finished cattle.
You see, buying that way means you are buying beef that was raised the way God and nature intended. The taste will be better and so will the nutritional value.
The cuts you get will be so much more varied than what you see in the grocery store. You get to see what the real are between steaks, roasts, and ground beef. This can bring the chance for a huge celebration because you get to use the meat provided by the cow in a more full way.
It is easy to see the beauty God put into the cow and how we can honor both the cow and the Lord in new ways.
Did you know: Studies have shown that anticipation of a vacation is often more pleasurable than even the vacation itself!
The same is true for buying something like bulk beef. In the end, you get beef that is better in taste and nutrition. Your family earns food security, and you get new adventures delivered to your kitchen.
But allowing your mind to dream while you wait will be huge!
If done properly, you can plan future family BBQ’s, special family dinners, and fun activities with your kids with your new resource. It can be an event the whole family get excited for!
The months of waiting produce a sense of excitement and pleasure all their own. This is all God intended, and is a place where you can actually have a lot of joy and family unity.
This is only what we can do now.
In the future, we have so much more planned!
We want to be the little slice of heaven that gives you peace and joy in a turbulent world!
1.) Cabins: One day we want to have cabins where you can come and stay and do your own retreat. Watch the sunset, sit in front of the campfire, or take a hike around the property. We want to give you a quiet place away from the noise of the city to let your mind and soul recoup with country living.
2.)Farm tours will become a reality as we develop. We want your kids to learn about natures healing rhythms early! They will have the chance to help pick eggs, pet goats, and feed cattle as they experience all the fun a farm can be. There is always something to do and always something new to learn!
3.) Running classes on things like canning, shooting, and other survival skills would just be fun. I have found a lot of people who want to learn, and we want to help people be able to feel confident outdoors.
There is real magic out here in nature, and my goal has always been to invite people into it so they can see the beauty and experience the healing for themselves.
We want to be a respite in a world that constantly wants to sweep you away. Our goal is to keep inviting you into participating in God’s creation and let that process bring you back in tune with his nature of love and his divine power to restore life everywhere it's broken!