Refusing to Rush
I am so tired of rushing around. So tired of looking to the future or to the past and not engaging fully in the gift of my present.
It is so easy to get distracted by my To Do List, sucked into the chaos around me, always focused on the next thing and the next thing and then the next thing after that. It takes no effort at all for me to miss what is right in front of me, to go through the motions in my relationships unfeelingly, because I’m so darn preoccupied with whatever is going on elsewhere.
For the past several weeks, I have been feeling a strong sense that I’m not really “all there” when I’m with the people who mean the most to me. Whether it is the inevitable chaos that always seems to accompany the last few weeks of school, or whether it is my daughter’s broken arm, or my husband’s stressful job, or extended family or friends coming to visit, or the ministry I’m passionately involved in, or upcoming social events, or my own high-maintenance brain chemistry, the fact remains: I have not been very present in my moments lately.
A couple weeks ago, I spent the entire weekend alongside all three of my kids— but I was on another planet the entire time. I couldn’t tell you what we talked about or what they wore or even whether or not we laughed together. I was so exhausted from the previous week’s activities, and so mentally wrapped up with what was coming up for the week we were heading into, that I simply wasn’t really living in the moments I was actually in.
And last week: I didn’t even notice that my husband shaved his beard until almost two days had gone by. (Who knows what else I missed during my haze of oblivion!?)
But I’m starting to wake up again, thank God.
God has been whispering to me, inviting me back into my moments. He’s been encouraging me to linger. To engage. To really be present in my moments. And a few days ago my heart distinctly heard this: “Don’t be in such a rush, Kristi. Don’t let yourself become so distracted by your To Do List that you miss the richness that relationships bring to your life.”
Hmmm… Yes. Good idea, God.
So I’ve been attempting to slow down again. To say no to a cluttered schedule and to say no to my ever-tantalizing iPhone and to say no to busying myself with Facebook and email and even the hassle of keeping an overly clean kitchen.
I’m putting aside my phone and playing board games with my kids again. I’m tarrying in bed, choosing to snuggle up with my husband rather than rush out for an early morning workout more often lately. I’m jumping on the trampoline again and drawing with sidewalk chalk and actually listening when my kids are telling me about something that excites them.
I’m revisiting the ancient practice of noticing again. I’m taking the time to really see what color the sky is during my sunrise hike on Saturday mornings and to hear the rhythm my dog’s paws make as we walk along dirt paths together. I’m tuning in to the sweet, scratchy quality of my son’s voice. I’m recognizing the different textures that each of my daughters’ hair possesses. And just this morning I noticed a kaleidoscope of color weaved throughout the irises of my husband’s blue eyes.
These things are God-created treasures right in front of me and I don’t want to miss them. I don’t want to get to the end of my days and not even realize they were there all along.
So I’m once again making the choice to linger. I refuse to rush through this precious, brief life of mine. Rather, I vow again to live with wonder, to seize the moment, to invest in the richness that relationships bring, to keep the most important things and people as priorities in my life. To wholeheartedly engage in this adventure-gift called Life.
Join me, will you?
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What about you?
How can you engage in your life and your relationships more fully? Where and with whom will you linger this week?
Please share your journey with me in the comment section below.