Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Hurrier I Go, The Behinder I Get

Lewis Carroll's wild White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland is credited with the quote, "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get."  A soul can't concentrate when rushed, and, as Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts Devotional) says, "Haste makes waste. The hurry makes us hurt." 
Think about that:
We sabotage our own days when we hurry through them:
     forgetting things we need,
          misplacing what we had,
               missing out on details,
                    accomplishing mediocrity,
                         redoing what we could have done right the first time,
                              eating poorly,
                                   exhausting our minds and bodies,
                                        staying irritable with people who aren't in the same hurry . . .
Surely, by now, we've learned we can't do it all.  As believers, we do understand that "busy-ness" doesn't equal significance, right?

When we recount our days, what will stand out in a blur of activity? How will others remember us? 

Looking back on the life I've already lived as a parent,  I remember significant moments:
     making ice cream sundaes just because it was Sunday;
     riding bikes on bike trails and the causeway;
     worshiping at candlelight Christmas Eve services and caroling to neighbors;
     eating at our own table with our china and candles lit;
     taking our art supplies to parks and pretendingto be "real" artists;    
     packing snacks and heading into a field to leisurely look at the stars;  
     playing at the beach with pails and shovels;
     sitting in our yard to watch the garbage and recycling trucks use their "arms" to lift and dump;
     gathering by the fireplace - some reading, some snoozing, some playing;
     trekking through nature trails;
     rocking feverish, needy children while praying for their health;
     picnicking at the marina at sunset,
     hiking in the mountains;
     laughing as we played UNO Attack at the mountain cabin.

These times rise to the top of my memory because we were fully engaged in the moment.  Each experience gathered us closer together and led us to praise and thank God. No one hurried and not a second was wasted.

If anyone has ever had the right to feel urgent, Jesus did. Yet, at 33 years old, after three years of public ministry, on the night He knew He would be arrested, tried and executed in less than 24 hours, He invested His remaining minutes in ways we still celebrate. That night He served and taught His disciples. He worshiped and sang with them, and while waiting for soldiers to storm in, Jesus prayed in a garden.  The next day He died so we could have abundant, eternal life.  (Matthew 26, 27; John 3:16, John 10:10)

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Is any circumstance we face more urgent than His?  Do we have the right to use "urgency" as an excuse for living less than abundantly, for wasting rather than spending it?  Does every moment count? In Christ, yes.                   
"Life is so urgent it necessitates living slow." - Ann Voskamp

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