Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Slowing down

 I took a walk today. There is a nice biking/walking trail near me that is paved and goes through the woods for several miles. It runs along beside and crosses a road I have traveled many times. I started out on the trail, but when I got to where it crossed the road at the one point, I started walking on the road instead. It is a back road with not a lot of traffic.

  As I walked this road I usually drive, I noticed things that I don't normally notice. Yes, there were the beer bottles and foam cups littering the grass beside the road, but there were also the variety of flowers one would not notice if you were driving along at the 40 mph speed limit.  There was the deserted boat in the weeds by a house, the red rustic shed that caught my eye and looked interesting as I walked instead of driving by it.

  I walked onto a bridge and gazed into the water I would barely notice if I was driving alongside it. The sky seemed bluer, the grass and trees greener, the countryside quieter. The quiet creek running below my feet made me glad I had my earbuds hanging around my neck instead of in my ears.

  These are things I would have missed if I was in my car. But I wasn't in my car. I was walking much slower than the 40 mph my car would have been going..... so I saw things I wouldn't have from my car.

  Life goes too fast. In two days, I will turn forty-six years old. It seems just yesterday I was depressed at the idea of turning forty, and here I am six years later about to turn forty-six.

 I get up every morning and go to work, come home and have 5 1/2 hours or so before I go to bed to do it all over again. It seems I am always rushing, trying to keep up with this merry-go-round that life is so often like.

 And I wonder..... what am I missing? What beauty am I missing around me by being so busy, by being so in a hurry all of the time. We use drive throughs everywhere we go, have automated tellers, self-checkouts, smart phones and all kinds of gadgets to help us do our tasks faster and more efficiently, but is it really helping us, or is it just cramming more into our already too busy and too full lives?

  Do we have time to stop and smell the flowers? Do we have time to make friends and cultivate relationships? Is there enough time for God in our lives, or is He like a creek we are driving alongside at a fast rate of speed? What are we missing out by being too busy, by having every waking hour crammed full of "stuff"?

  Some day we will all read the end of our journey. We will go around the last bend on the road of life, and look back at all we have done and accomplished. We aren't going to wish we had worked more, that we had been busier just doing life. If we wish anything, we will wish we had spent more time with family and friends, that we had made God a top priority every day instead of squeezing Him in when and where we could. We may wish we had stopped to gaze at the flowers, to watch and listen to a quiet creek, to make a child smile, to enjoy the beauty and silence of God's creation.

  I want to do better. Today as I took my 2-mile or so walk, I felt the need to do this in life. I need to slow down, pay attention to what and who is around me. Life goes too fast as it is, we need to do all we can to slow ourselves down, since we can't slow life down. And then when we get to the end of the road and look back at where we have been, we may not have a lot of "I wish......" thoughts, but only satisfied ones that we lived, and took time for what and who was important.

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