Not a great tombstone epitaph: “She hurried…right past life.”

Written by: Amy Dalke

I have a “hurry” problem.

If I do not approach my day with the mindset to mindfully and purposefully Slow. It. Down., then I get caught up in a super-fast-paced, rushing, hurry-up-now mode.

The morning becomes a shower-taking, face-washing, teeth-brushing, closet-scanning, outfit-matching, shoe-finding hurry.

Then…

“Get your shoes on.”; “Where’s your lunchbox?”; “Make sure you have your homework.”; “Hold this, please, and grab my keys.” hurry.

Slow drivers; I need coffee; dang, I also need gas; “Get out of my way, please”; “Way to use that blinker, genius.” Okay, fine, then, honk, honk hurry.

Mid-morning-madness is a phone-ringing, client-pleasing, “they need this now.” “Can’t wait for later.” kind of hurry…

Mind-whipping, headache stirring, email this, then edit that, and answer twelve questions on the fly hurry.

Don’t forget this; calendar that; and remind myself to remember

all…

of…

these…

things.

hurry.

The afternoon rushes past in a people-managing, people-pleasing, people-building, “remember-to-love-people”, meeting-scheduling, call-making, close that deal, hurry.

“I’m-runninglate.”; “I’m free at 10.”; “Cancel that.”; “Sticky-Note-Neon-Ocean-On-My-Desk?” hurry…

Leave-the-office-pick-up-Luke-homework-bliss-now-I’m-a-math-teacher-hurry. (Okay, I cannot lie. I’m never, ever a math teacher.)

The evening song is “What’s for dinner?”; “What time is baseball?”, “What do you mean, it’s due tomorrow?!”, “What am I forgetting now?” hurry…

Rush. Madness. Crazy.

Maybe it’s because I am getting older (or, more likely, because Luke is getting older), that I have become more mindful of the sacredness of time. Many of my days still fly by in a chaotic blur, but I have grown more and more aware that when this very day is done – I cannot get it back. (I could tell you a pathetic story about how I cried big, crocodile tears through the entire process of taking down Christmas this year. I simply did not want to let it go. Getting rid of this guy was especially hard.)

Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.” Psalm 144:4

“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath.” Psalm 39:4-5

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

We all have an equal amount of time on our clocks. Nobody has more space on the calendar than you do. There is not one human being who can claim they are more “time rich” than others. It is impossible to pile away the seconds of the clock in a high interest bank account, and we cannot trade time on the stock market.

Nevertheless, we can invest it wisely.

We are…all of us…gifted with 24 hours for each earth-turning day, and every gracious hour gives us 60 full minutes. When I pause long enough to view my days – and my hours – and my minutes – from God’s perspective, I am reminded to steward them well.

God reminds me to

                                           Seek the holy,

                                           not the hurry.

I know that my days are numbered, so I long to crawl through the clock, moving through its moments like molasses…in slow motion, capturing the sweet and savoring the holy.

Oh, that God would give me the wisdom to embrace each tick, each tock, with wonder...that he would whisper “breathe…” to me — in the heat of my stress — so that I would remember to pause and recognize the glory in each grace-filled minute. If I could go slow, then perhaps the words that I speak would be measured and intentional – full of truth, joy, thanksgiving.

When I recall that my life is the length of a handbreadth, my soul yearns to linger through the gift of one second, two seconds, then three.

What if we could be so still…that the only rush we feel is the beating of our hearts in sync with the unhurried breath of God?

In the middle of the busy-ness, our spirits must be compelled to soak in the peace of Jesus – to be lifted above the minute hand of time – to see the divine goodness between the hours.

Today. Here. Now. THIS is where life abounds.

This very moment is fresh, unrealized, and ready to be redeemed by heaven’s mercies.

The hour before you promises adventure —

                                                 a slow, majestic, holy adventure…

                                                                                        begging to be experienced,

                                                                                                                                       through slow eyes,

                                        and an open heart.

If I would slow down…if you would slow down…I think Jesus himself would breathe a satisfied sigh of relief.

He knows our hurry gets us nowhere. He knows we miss too much when we hurry.

My prayer for this Monday, is that we (You. Me.) would refuse to throw the day away in a mad rush. I am asking God that, for the rest of this day, you would savor

each

tick

of

the

clock.

I hope you’ll pause a little longer to listen to the words of your 3-year old.

I hope you will go slow…long enough to watch her tie her shoes, and appreciate the fatness of her fingers.

Maybe you’ll bite your tongue before reacting with irritation to ANOTHER question. (For the love…I know. I know.)

I hope you won’t rush through the conversation with your grandmother…or your neighbor…or your boss. See the content of your conversation in a different light. When you are mindfully aware of the present moment, the value of communication is richer…more interesting…more important.

I hope you’ll shoot baskets with your son – regardless of his age (or yours) – and play catch for “just one more pass”, and then once more.

I hope that you’ll enjoy the sound of sticky fingers turning one page after another before bed time.

I hope that when it’s time to help them with homework, you (and I) will relish every. single. second.

Let’s not wait until time marches past, to appreciate the value of each sacred moment.

Instead of practicing  the “busy”, let’s practice being present. What a shame to waste our days, chasing the clock, chasing the American Dream, constantly looking ahead to”what’s next?”…

Let’s look closely at each hour given to us – so that we soak up as much LIFE as we possibly can…from each inhale, from each exhale.

Every breath, a gift.

The time is NOW. Be here. Not there. Enter this very moment…unhurried.

Your not-so-rushed Monday friend,

Amy