Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Going nowhere in a hurry

We are a "fast" nation. Many of us live in a perpetual rush without even noticing it. Slowness is equated with sloth and speed with a good work ethic and an active, healthy lifestyle. But let's look at it from a different perspective:

St. Peter to Jesus,  "Lord, why are they all scurrying around like chickens with their heads cut off down there?"

Jesus simply shakes his head.

"What, Lord? Is there something important going on down there that I don't know about?"

"No, Peter. They are all going nowhere in a hurry."

"What?!! You mean they're doing this on purpose for no reason?"

Jesus looks greatly saddened.

"Peter, they aren't even AWARE that they are rushing for nothing. It gives them a false sense of accomplishment to hurry along through life. It has become a race to see who can get the most done in the shortest time. Look at that woman over there. The one tugging on her child's hand, rushing along the road and telling the child to hurry up. She has nowhere that she needs to be right now, she's on vacation."

Jesus directs Peter's attention to a man trying to beat another man into a parking space and then to a woman scurrying to beat an elderly woman to the checkout line at the grocery store.

" My people rush around so much that they miss what's right in front of them. Life itself."

The woman tugging at the child's hand was me. You would think I would be far more patient after all these years but I still have my unlovely moments. Rushing can be a form of pride. It's saying, "My life is more important than yours therefore I have the right to have the closest parking space, to be the first in line or to speed a child along because she is stopping too much on the way home from the beach." Sometimes God uses my own child to correct me. After tugging at her hand, telling her to "speed things up, please" and frowning at her she asked me "Why, Mommy? Where are we going?" I looked at her and realized that it was a very good question.
I was going nowhere... very fast :)


  1. The Arabs gave me a wonderful gift from days of living in Jordan: a new understanding of time. If I am late these days, I will call ahead and let people know, but I do not feel like I have to explain nor do I feel guilty. Time in the Middle East is more measured. I like that, and apparently I brought the sense of time with me when I moved back to the USA.

    And sometimes when we hurry and hurry, we end up waiting once we arrived!

  2. Elizabeth,
    That really is a great gift because most of us rush around for nothing. I swear that my daughter teaches me more things about life than anyone. Children approach life more slowly and live at a much more natural pace than adults. My friend, Ann, just came back from Africa and noticed the slower pace of life there, too.
    I don't rush to get in front of elderly women in grocery lines, though. Well... at least not as long as their carts aren't overly full ;)
    My husband tries to sneak his way into the closest parking spots and gets irritated when someone beats him to it (lol). Men are very competitive and love parking lot wars!

    (Sorry, Randy, but maybe it would be better if you didn't flash victory signs at the other drivers.)

  3. It's the Australians who are the worst offenders at this. They are in such a hurry that they've already had tomorrow over there before the rest of us!

    God bless.

  4. What a great post Mary and SO true. As I have gotten older I am better at slowing down, but I still get caught in the "rush trap" on occasion. Thanks for the reminder to step back. Have a blest day.

  5. Victor,
    That was a good one! Funny!

  6. Mary,
    I "practice" slowing down by deliberately allowing people to go ahead of me at times. It builds patience while driving, shopping and with family. I still get caught in the rush trap, too, but not as often as I used to.

  7. Ouch. I have so many friends that rush every day and they wonder how I can stand to be at home and not feel rushed to go go go . . . thankfully it's my nature. However, I do have days when I feel rushed and I know I'm missing all the good bits in rushing.
    Love what Victor said. LOL.

  8. I just love the minds of children. Their questions often put us in our place. Thank you for sharing your wonderful incidents with Michaela. If we didn't have these occasions to look at ourselves, we would surely never be all that Jesus wants us to be.