I started the week being inspired by an interview with Ann Voskamp over at The High Calling. Is there ever a time Ann speaks that I don’t hear abundant truth? That God’s words aren’t whispered through hers?
I sat right on this line for a long time.
I’ve hurried. And I lived soul-empty for a long, long time.
We live in a culture trapped in the stronghold of ‘hurry’. I’ve been there. I’m still there some days, through I desperately try not to be. I see it everywhere I go, especially with three young children in tow. People are intensely frustrated with our insistence to stroll. To drive the speed limit. To stop and smell flowers. To Live Slow.
Boy, has my heart changed since ten years ago when I studied to be a TV producer. Now we don’t even have a television. I remember very clearly words we lived by in the studio and on location – “HURRY UP AND WAIT!” The concept of “hurry up and wait” refers to the crazy rush (often accompanied with yelling and mad panic) to get the set, talent, and all technical and audio/visual equipment up and ready for live TV or shooting to tape. We had to prepare the scene, be ready to capture the footage – but then wait for quite some time (often hours) before we went live to air or live to tape. It was a massive undertaking that could have been rewarding and fun – but we missed the joy in the process. In fact, for me, there was no joy. Rush killed the joy. Then the ‘wait’ part was empty – void of anything. Starkly contrasted to the rush that proceeded it. And for some reason, I’d crave that ‘hurry up’ again, even though it drove me mad.
We hurry for reasons we don’t even understand. It’s like we’re waiting for the day we can slow down but it doesn’t come. We rush towards this ‘set-up’, this successful state of being – but then what? We can’t stand the slowing of the ‘wait’.
Life is the wait. Life is found in the stillness. Real life is found in those moments of contentment where we can just be and let God be with us. Letting Him flow through our days and through our mind. Not sometimes. All the time.
Tasting means slowing down. Refusing to rush through life wishing for the next thing. When the kids are older. When I’m in better shape. When I have more time for myself. When my marriage is better. When my family reunites. When I retire. When I have more money, more freedom…
You may not make it to the “when”. None of us have a guarantee that we’ll make it to tomorrow. All we have is now. All we have is the in-this-very-moment. We are only given one chance to taste this life. To really savor it. There are no second chances – one life, and that’s it.
When I watched my close Aunt die far too young of Cancer, I was jolted awake to the realization that LIFE is fleeting. We are here now and gone – when God chooses. Every day here is a gift. And I soak this thought in daily as the bustle of home schooling three young children takes over my days. But I don’t want to look back and wish I had just savored. Just enjoyed. Just relaxed. Just slowed down. Just stopped hurrying through hours, through days, through seasons, through life.
I want to remember to look at all the small things and taste to sweetness of the crazy life, the quiet life, the messy life, the “Mama, I love you…” life.
“I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here. I can slow the torrent by being all here. I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment… Weigh down this moment in time with attention full, and the whole of time’s river slows, slows, slows.”
In a world consumed with hurry, I want to stand apart. I want to whisper at the sky, “Slow down…”. I want to gaze tenderly at a little girl watering flowers that peak out of the walkway. I want to allow tears to flow at the sight of a precious son sticking his tongue out while painting. I want to embrace the days as if they will never come again. Because they won’t. This day is the only one we are given and guaranteed.
Don’t rush it.