I was reading one of my favorite daily inspirational books this week and it had some good advice.
“Lie down in green pastures of peace. Learn to unwind whenever possible, resting in the presence of your Shepherd. This electronic age keeps my children ‘wired’ much of the time, too tense to find Me in the midst of their moments.”
Wow, how true.
Yes, it is a book of daily, inspirational Christian passages, although not quoting directly from the Bible.
But my family is very aware how much I love the book since it is my daily reading, backed up by Scriptures for each day.
Unwind? Slow down?
That, my friend, is something I do not think I will ever do while I am in the work world—especially the newspaper business. Or at least it seems like I will never do it since I am the first to admit I am in a “hurry up” mode from the time my eyes open each morning.
If I didn’t already know how true it was I was reminded of that last week when my friend Rene Arcemont, director for the East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity, took my picture as I sat in a chair in his office. I was there to interview him and get some photos for their big upcoming fundraiser, “Home is Where the Art Is,” which is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 17 from 7:30 to 11:30 at the Northshore Harbor Center.
Rene posted the picture on Facebook and made a comment about how unusual it was to see me just sitting in a chair. Ha, even I got quite a laugh. But then I watched as there were quite a few comments—all of them very nice about the work we do at the paper—and several agreeing with “never seeing Kevin sitting still.”
I plead guilty. I know it’s true. I am in this incredible “hurry up” attitude from the time I wake up until I call it quits at the end of the day. And you can guess that in the paper business the end of the day might be 8 or 9 at night.
So when I read an inspirational piece in my book, frequently encouraging me to slow down and rest, I really love it. Many of us need permission to do that and I guess I’m one of those guys.
Of course, as I visit so many business friends in St. Tammany Parish I constantly see the same thing for small business owners. I interviewed Gavin Jobe recently, owner and head chef for Meribo restaurant in Covington. He was selected to be on the national TV cooking show with Alton Brown and is currently in the midst of a competition to win $50,000. (You can read that story next week in this newspaper—he is a fascinating guy.)
As we started the interview Gavin’s phone went off. I always tell business owners to “do what you need to” and answer the phone. He did so, finished his business, then got another call, then said, “do you mind, I need to call so and so.” And later as we were talking he had a wine saleswoman waiting to meet with him.
Gavin and I joked about being small business owners—the nature of it all puts you in a rush! You can’t help it—and as so many have said before, you will do everything from delivering papers to cleaning toilets.
But at the end of the day I haven’t seen any small business owner who would change a thing. There is a freedom in being in charge of your own destiny and having an opportunity to do anything you want with your business. Yes, there are many levels of pressure that come with it, but when the day is done you know that everything created that brought success was because you made it happen.
That’s why I need to read reminders about slowing down, not feeling guilty for resting, and finding some kind of way to recharge and refresh myself.
I think that is best accomplished when you have a relationship with God who practically begs us in the Bible to allow Him to take on our burdens. As we have heard so many times, over 90 percent of the things we worry and fret about never actually happen. Yet, for some reason, we have been wired to worry.
A relationship with the Lord gives you someone to put it all on. I am learning, day by day, to trust God more with my life. I believe I do it much better now than I did five years ago, but it is a daily goal to focus on.
I’m thankful for my wife who gives me the OK to “put the work up” and go have some fun with her. And I’m thankful that God is always there—and you know it is always—to take our burdens.
As imperfect humans we certainly need that help and I hope you can also find the refreshment and relief that comes when you do that.
Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.