I’m with a 6-man film crew on a remote island on Micronesia called Satawal.
The island is about the size of average U.S. shopping complex.
With limited contact to the outside world,
we have no running water, no power.
It’s beautiful here, innocent in many ways.
However, when the crew and I land we discover a ‘bit’ of a problem.
There’s no transportation!
We have 5,000 lbs. of provisions, medical supplies, food, water and film equipment.
The only thing with wheels is an old, rusty cart!
Shortly after landing, I find myself pushing this wheelbarrow toward the south shore of the island.
The guys have rushed ahead.
They’re hauling film and sound gear by hand.
I’m struggling to catch up so that we don’t miss daylight.
I’m trying hard to balance heavy equipment on this bumpy, narrow path.
I’m exhausted but intent on reaching the crew.
At that moment, one of the island chiefs is walking toward me.
His stride is slow and deliberate like that of an elder statesman.
In contrast, I’m frantic and unsteady.
What happens next stops me in my tracks. It still does.
“Dr. Lindsey, why do you go so fast?”
I explain that the crew waiting for me.
Whatever I’ve said, or perhaps the fact that I’m coming unglued, seems to humor him. He looks at my wristwatch, shakes his head slowly then whispers,
“YOU ALL HAVE WATCHES BUT YOU HAVE NO TIME.”
Often when I’m rushing through airports,
rushing through my email,
rushing through my day,
I ask myself what price I pay for my busy-ness?
What is the cost of this well-intentioned veneer of efficiency
that masks a deeper longing for something rich and far more meaningful.
Does this sound familiar?
From the bedroom to the boardroom we’re connected 24/7.
Multi-tasking has become an art form.
Yet, despite our best intentions,
faster is not always better and more is never enough.
My striving, I realize, results from a belief that
if I’m productive then I’ll accomplish more,
and if I accomplish more
then I will be successful,
and if I’m successful
then my life will matter
and if my life matters
then I will be loved.
In moments like these I hear the thundering echo of that
Micronesian chief and I remember what matters most.