Most of us don’t need anyone to tell us that we live hurried lives. Hurried lives are more than busy lives. Hurried lives are preoccupied lives because we always have the next thing we have to do in our heads and so we are not present in the current moment.
Have you ever had a small child put a hand on either side of your face to make you stop and look at them?
Have you ever arrived home with no clear memory of the journey?
Have you ever felt like your head will quite literally explode if you try and stuff in one more conversation or request or thought?
These things are often indicators of a hurried life!
I had an eye-opening moment a while back.
I had taken some long service leave - 6 weeks to live life without going to work. Wonderful!
It took me a while to slow down!
I knew that I had been living a hurried life before I went on leave and I know that a hurried life has its costs … but the way I figured things I was still spending time with my husband and children and grandchildren and getting to see some friends and family; I was still getting into the garden and craft room – still living life.
But as I slowed down my view of the life I was living started to change. Things began to look different.
I was falling off to sleep one night when this picture came into my head.
When you drive on the freeway at 100 km an hour you still see things out of the car window. At 100 km an hour you can still see trees, buildings, other cars, even people in the other cars.
But at 100 km an hour the detail of what you see is pretty poor. You can quickly glance at the person in a car in the next lane when you are travelling fast. But when you are stopped at the traffic lights you can get a much better look at your neighbour and that view improves even more if you get out of your car and climb into theirs – I am not recommending you actually do that on the freeway – but you get my point!
I realised that I had been convincing myself I could travel at 100 km an hour and still be relationally present with people; still genuinely ‘see’ the people in my life.
When in fact all I was doing was glancing in the direction of those I cared about most!
Something I had read a while ago came back to me, “The rhythm of work and ceasing work is written into the very core of our being.”
It’s how God made us – to work for a while and then rest for a while – to leave the freeway regularly and take a drive at a speed more suitable for a country laneway. God has made us to work and to take time to rest from our work, enjoying the people we live with and the world we live in.
When we keep that rhythm, we are much more likely to stay connected with God and each other so that even when we are busy we know how to live fully in the moment.
Over the next week or so why not take notice of your speed. 100 km is fine on the freeway but the freeway is no place to live 24/7.