Part 1 of the Simplify Life Series – The One Location To Spend More of Your Time
It’s the rushing. And the running. Perhaps the urgency, that makes our pace of life so exhausting these days.
Whatever happened to Slow? How does your life measure up to the dictionary definition of this forgotten art:
Moving or proceeding with little or less than usual speed or velocity
One of my favourite quotes by Ann Voskamp is:Life is not an emergency. Click To Tweet
Yet don’t we often treat it as such? As a sudden, urgent meltdown requiring immediate action?
If you find yourself living in a state of reaction to unexpected occurrences throughout your week, if you can’t get to places fast enough, or are breathlessly speeding from one activity to the next – then, your answer is yes. You’ve just diagnosed your life as one of difficulty, distress, and most likely a string of daily dilemmas.
I can relate, my friend. Even as a homeschooling mother, I have struggled with the ratrace of taking my children here, there, and everywhere. It simply doesn’t bear good fruit in our own lives, or in the lives of our children to live this way.
And if you’re still not convinced you fall into the “living life as an emergency” category, compare your past week to the antonyms for “emergency” and see how you rate:
Calmness, ease, peace…
So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.
1 Corinthians 9:26
Let’s face it, are we really able to enjoy and thrive in our many commitments, our well-intentioned service, and our seeking to do good to our children by racing around from one activity, store, and meeting to the next? In the long-term we will be exhausted, empty, and sadly, ineffective.
God did not intend for you and I to live at this pace. Just because transportation means make it possible, microwaves make it faster, and technology makes it easier, it doesn’t mean we can’t live slow, savour, and survive (well) at a healthy pace.
Following are 5 suggestions for living a slower-paced life:
1. Linger at meal times
Enjoy good conversation with those around you. Discuss your day, dreams, and dreads with your loved ones. Joke, be silly, and laugh! Share what the Lord is doing in your hearts. Listen to one another. Stay at the table and linger…
2. Lengthen rest times
Sleep longer, read more, daydream. Sip a cup of tea and take the time to look out of the window, appreciating God’s creative beauty. Pray. Live in the present moment. Do something you enjoy… for hours! Allow your soul to be refreshed as you take the time to slow down.
3. Launch Into Deep Conversations
Delve into discussions with those around you, or just enjoy a loooong conversation with a girlfriend bouncing from one topic to another – you know, the one where you both look at the time, and you can’t believe it’s that late already! Time truly does fly when you’re having fun.
Look people in the eye and launch into deep and meaningful conversations with them.
Give them the time of day. Stop and listen to those who need to talk.We need to give one another the gift of time Click To Tweet
…And conversations often need that time to develop till the real heart of the matter comes to the surface.
4. Live It Up Outdoors
Being in the midst of God’s creation, whether it is in your back garden, or out in the woods, is invigorating. Have your meals outside, play a sport, exercise with the glory of God’s beauty around you, and enjoy the refreshment.
One of the greatest gifts that have been forfeited for the sake of home conveniences and technology is that we stay indoors far more than is good for us.
Times outdoors are often the most precious memories we experience.
5. Leave it finished
Be honest – how many books have you not completed, art projects have you left half-done, or home improvement projects have you abandoned? We have lost that feeling of accomplishing a task – completing it from start to finish. Why? We’re rushing off to the next, best thing.
Take the time to start something and finish it. Pick it up and persevere till you’ve got something you can be proud of, which will have added loveliness and blessing to this world for God’s glory.
There are so many other ways to slow down, dear one – from holidays, to hobbies, to having fun playing board games with our young ones.
The point is, be aware. If your life seems like a string of scrambling, sprinting, and stealing moments to catch your breathe, consider whether your current priorities are taking the place of potential peace and calm.
Line your vision up with God’s view of justified rushing and running;
I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.
I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…
May this kind of running be our focus, and may you and I slow down to a pace of life that allows us to truly care for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for those in our community, while exuding His glory every step of the way.