questions drive most of our lives. "How much?" and "How
much do you make? How much can you do? How much did you
achieve today, this month, or this year? How many did
you sell? How many did you speak to? How many think well
Merton calls this "the senseless tyranny of quantity"
and he's correct. The more important questions in life
are always qualitative.
really doesn't matter how many years we've been married.
What is the quality of our marriage? Let's not brag
about the number of children we have or their
achievements at school. Do they feel deeply loved and
have we specifically invested in their
character-development? It's fine to record how many
attend church services each weekend. But are they
growing deeper in godliness?
people work long hours to accumulate more money
than they need while their friendships and families
fail. Many pastors remain on-call 24/7 for anyone who
needs them, but neglect their own personal spiritual
formation. Many students feel the pressure to accumulate
good grades, but not the same pressure to become like
tyranny of quantity. We all face it.
Somewhere along the way,
society duped us into believing that words like biggest,
largest, and most are the measure of our worth and
Ironically, the pursuit of
"quantities" fails to fulfill our deepest needs.
Nameless faces do not form community. Greenbacks do not
love us in return. Productivity satisfies for just a
passing moment before we establish new goals. But by
distracting our attention, absorbing our energy, and
dominating our time, the pursuit of "quantity" robs
Jesus invites us to abundant life, He means quality not
quantity. Contentment, such as the Apostle Paul learned,
does not depend on how much we have but on what we've
become. Life to the full does not mean a life full of
stuff but a life fully changed. Eternity is not a length
of time but a place of abode--His Presence.
don't need to become monks "to escape in some measure
from the senseless tyranny of quantity" but we will need
to stop what we're doing and decide what we want to
become. The fruit of our lives reflects the root within
did not portray the Kingdom of God as a bee colony
filled with endless activity, constant busyness,
and high productivity--little insects mindlessly zipping
past each other to drop off pollen and race back out.
Instead, the dominant Kingdom metaphor in the New
Testament is the family of God, where we live and love
need to re-align your priorities, today's a good day to