A 1915 Perspective on 100 Years

The Centre Grove United Methodist Church in Clearfield will celebrate 200 years in 2015. In the program for the church’s One Hundredth Anniversary celebration in 1915, there was a perspective offered on the advances of the previous century. The piece may have been an ad for the local Clearfield Hardware Company …

One hundred years seems like a long time, but it isn’t—It’s only a drop in the ocean of time or eternity as verified by the old hymn we sing, ‘When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise then when we first begun.’

However one hundred years brings a lot of changes in things temporal on this old kaleidoscopic-sphere.

What mighty empires have risen and fallen. What wonderful scientific discoveries have been made. What marvelous improvements have been made in lighting, transportation, and communication. Through these improvements the methods of modern merchandising is scarcely less marvelous. Within the century this church is celebrating, and not so very far back either, the lone store was lighted with the tallow dip, goods were packsaddled across the mountains over the tow paths from Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and later from Tyrone. When a merchant was out of an article, he was out ’till after rafting time’ or ‘after harvest’ when the annual buying trip was made, but now, thanks to the brain and brawn that brought to the present standard of perfection the mighty ocean steamer, the fast express and freight trains, the automobile, the airship, the telegraph, the telephone, the wireless, and the electric light and power, you don’t have to wait ’till after rafting time for the Hardware you need, nor do you have to make a long tedious journey on horse back to make selection of your purchase under the rays of a tallow dip and then ‘pack’ it back home. You sit in your electric lighted home, phone your order to the Clearfield Hardware Company and have the goods delivered the same day by auto truck. If perchance the article is out of stock, a telegram and fast freight or express or parcel post brings it in a day or two.

Fascinating. What might be written in 2015?

Your Energy Level Matters

I’ve always been a fairly high-energy person.

But in the last couple of years, my energy level has suffered, ever since my “wake-up call” (elevated heart rate over the course of several months). I wrote a little about it in 3 Steps I’m Taking to Manage Stress Better. While I’m mostly recovered from that experience, my energy levels are still recovering!

Where I notice it the most is with energy-intensive tasks that require heavy thinking, reflection, and intense study, which makes weekly sermon prep more challenging!

Tony Schwartz, who leads The Energy Project, writes in Fatigue is Your Enemy

it’s not the number of hours we work that determines the value we create. Rather, it’s the quality of energy we bring to the hours we work. By renewing regularly, it’s possible to get more done, in less time, at a higher level of quality, more sustainably. When we’re less fatigued, we’re not only less prey to negative emotions, we’re also more likely to access the positive ones we need to feel to perform at our best.

So, managing your energy level is vitally important. In stewardship language, we must be good stewards of our energy level.

Here’s how I’m trying to manage my energy level …

1. Make the most of my early morning routine.
I find that if I get up early to spend time with God, exercise, and read, the rest of my day is much more productive and enjoyable. My energy level is higher. This has always been important for me; it’s even more important with kids!

2. Eat well.
I’ve always been interested in healthy nutrition, but my discipline doesn’t always match my desire. Still, over the past two years, I’ve dramatically reduced my intake of sugar (it effects my heart rate), which cuts out most junk food. What you eat can affect your energy level.

3. Rest.
Stopping to rest a little everyday, sometime during the day, will always be a challenge for me. Between work and family obligations, there always seems to be something going on. But, I know I need to carve out time each day, and a day each week, to rest and catch my breath.

4. Hydrate.
Lately, I’ve been drinking more water. CamelBak has a lot of good info on hydration. They say a “recent study found that almost half of men and women are not drinking enough water.” Their ten facts about hydration include: hydration keeps your heart rate lower, longer, and dehydration is the number one cause for afternoon fatigue. Another article states, “drinking water helps keep … your energy levels and focus maximized.”

5. Do high-energy tasks when my energy is highest.
Unfortunately, I don’t always do this well. But, I know I should work on energy-intensive tasks when my energy levels are highest. My energy levels are highest in the mornings, so I should work on sermons and other high energy tasks in the mornings. And, I should use the afternoons for things that don’t require as much energy.

How’s your energy level? What do you to do improve your energy?

If this is something you’re struggling with, you may be interested in my review of “Leading on Empty” by Wayne Cordeiro.