Costs of Life in the Fast Lane

Acceleration is part of modern life. “The process of mechanical acceleration began in the 19th century in conjunction with industrialization” and was intended to “create more available time for the individual” by shortening the amount of time needed to accomplish tasks (Der Spiegel, July 4, 2013). A recent book by German sociologist Harmut Rosa notes, “modern society does not enjoy the luxury of more leisure time… On the contrary, individuals suffer from a constant time shortage” (ibid.). Most people believe they should live life to the full, and “get all they can” from it. “As a result, more and more people suffer from depression and burn out” (ibid.). “Because society moves at an ever faster pace, political decisions have to be made more quickly too” (ibid.). In his book, Rosa refers to modern acceleration as the untamable “Leviathan” of this age. But solutions are in the Bible! Scripture states that at the end of the age, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:4). Solomon warned against the obsession over new knowledge and new ideas (Ecclesiastes 12:12). He revealed that “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression” (Proverbs 12:25). Paul warned of the need for “redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). By staying close to God, setting goals, and avoiding the traps of greed, we can build habits and avoid the addiction of acceleration. “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5). For more information about this topic read our article, “Overcoming Stress.”—Scott Winnail, Deborah Lincoln-Strange, John Meakin and Justin Ridgeway