Friday, April 11, 2008

The Bad Word: Monotony

I've heard the quote, but I can't find it in order to get it exactly right. So we might call it a paraphrase. C. S. Lewis once observed that only God and children enjoy monotony.

Think about it. What do we do when we see that there is going to be a rare break in our busy, hectic schedules? We have to fill it with activity, right? It's like we dread the thought of a still moment.

Yet it's in the stillness that we become more aware of the Father. Maybe that's why we try to keep so busy. But I think our "busyness" is more a mindset foisted on us by our culture. Busy people are productive people. Busy people are the important people. Busy equals meaningful.

Listen to people when they are together. For some, it's like a competition to outdo the other on how busy they are. It almost reminds me of kids on the playground. "I'm busier than you are." "Oh, yeah? Well . . ."

Truth be know, that all bores me. I'm not impressed with extreme business. The person who works 70 hours a week receives my sympathy -- not my admiration.

Life is about relationships. Time spent with God. Time spent with family. Time spent making connections with people.

Let us learn to enjoy monotony.


Josh Ross said...


Beverly Ross said...

That is really, really good stuff! I need to soak it in. Thanks for sharing!

kevin said...

The best part of a commute: communing (and God's pallet of sunrise colors!).

Kyle R. said...

I get what you're saying. And I am certainly one that enjoys and practices silence and stillness. But to me, monotony does not necessariy coincide with stillness.

To me, monotony literally means one sound (mono-tone) or as we typically tend to use it to mean lack of variety or boring. As I have experienced busyness, busyness itself becomes monotonous--void of variety--little sleep, repetitiveness, automatic pilot mode, if you will. That bores me. So to me, a hectic pace of life is monotonous.

On the other hand,I find quiet times and stillness, not as monotonous, but as regenerative.

Maybe I am making too big of deal out of the word monotony and I am interpreting the word incorrectly, or it just has a bad connotation to me. But I thought I would chime in on my thoughts of the word. Maybe I better look up the word in the dictionary.:)

I couldn't agree with you more about real life being about relationships. Not so much about what we do but about who we are and who we spend our time with.

Rick Ross said...

Good point, Kyle. Somehow, I think C. S. Lewis probably had more the idea of lack of constant activity in mind when he said that.