Today I want to challenge you. I want to challenge you to take a moment.
But what does that actually mean?
Fast, faster, fastest
In today’s society of Coffee-to-go, fast frack at the airport, and highspeed internet, we can’t deny one thing: the world is constantly getting faster.
Just like in a water slide when you start sliding slowly, but get faster and faster until you are only able to see flashing lights and colours around you and feel the water drops in your eyes, life can sometimes rush in front of us without us actually noticing what’s going on.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always carrying around some sort of to-do list. Since I added all of my appointments and events to Google calendar, my phone is even reminding me at the exact time what I should be doing. Sometimes, dates overlap and, just like in the water slide, while I’m getting faster and faster, everything is flashing by. Sometimes, by the end of the day I don’t even remember what I did that morning!
What’s interesting is that most of the time, I’m actually excited for every single bullet point on my to-do list. I’m looking foward to meeting different people, going different places, and especially for trying things for the first time. It really only becomes a problem when I stop actually enjoying the single things that are found in my schedule.
The other day, I went to work. From there, I went to a meeting. From there, I went to a second work-related location, and then back to my original work place, and THEN to my dance training which is a half hour walk from my home. What I could have done is go to every single place thinking about how I’ll get to the next appointment and mentally ticking points on my long to-do list that are two or three appointments ahead of the one I’m presently at.
And – if I’m honest – I sometimes do that. I think so much about the next thing to do, that I forget to enjoy the thing or the conversation I’m in right now.
It takes YOUR decision!
But on this particular day that I described, I decided to take a moment. During the meeting I decided to not look at the time OR my schedule and to just give the other person the attention they deserved. To listen, laugh and eat together. At work, I decided to be fully present and bring my best ideas. At dancing, I decided to not think about my laundry at home or the plans for tomorrow, but to take a moment to give my brain a wee rest and just dance. In fact, after dancing, I spontaneously spent two hours on the river enjoying the sunshine and listening to a concert nearby.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not telling you to not care about the timing of your schedule and start being late. But I’m challenging you to sometimes purposely decide to take a moment, to be fully present where you are and enjoy the thing you are doing, despite the fact that there are more things to do on your list.
When I was a kid, I sometimes tried to stop in the middle of the water slide by stretching out my hands and feet against the slide wall. Then, I would stand up and wait for my friend to come down. (A little dangerous, I know). When I stopped, I could clearly see the colours of the slide, the water, and the smile of my friend when she came down the slide and saw me standing there.
What I want you to notice is that without me deciding to stretch out my hands and feet to stop, I wouldn’t have been able to see that! It takes a decision to really seize a moment, live in it, and maybe even celebrate it.
Taking a moment in sadness?
Sometimes we don’t feel like celebrating and would rather rush on then decide to stay in a moment of grief or sadness. But even those moments are so precious! God says in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted…”
Sometimes we need to take a moment to cry and reveal all of our pain to God, but it takes a decision to take that moment! The thing to remember is that God wants to be closer to us than we could ever imagine. Whenever we decide to stop, God will ALWAYS be there waiting for us.
So today – whatever you are up to, no matter what your circumstances look like, whether you’re celebrating or not, decide to take a moment, to stop in the tube and to look to God.