A number of years ago I took the word ‘busy’ out of my vocabulary. I just don’t say it anymore. Because before I did, I was the queen of busy. If you asked me how I was, my response would have been, “I’m busy. How are you?” Then I would half-heartedly listen for your answer, because, goodness, I was busy! I had places to go and people to see. Life was in such a hurry back then. I decided I needed to make a change… to leave the fast track of life for the not-so-fast lane.
I traded the hurried life for an unhurried one.
But the thing is, the hurried life didn’t magically disappear. No. It continues to creep back in. Maybe it’s because we live in a hurried culture. After all, we are immersed in fast. We eat fast food, we drive fast cars, and we want the fastest internet. GPS helps us find the fastest route, our microwaves heat our food the fastest, and we now can get our groceries the fastest with curbside pickup. Life is fast, isn’t it?? But, truly, what are we hurrying for, anyway? What are we chasing after?
This makes me think of Jeremiah 2:25:
“Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?…”Jeremiah 2:25a MSG
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel if I don’t keep moving in this world, I’ll either get passed by or run over. And neither one sounds very desirable.
So, when I let my guard down, or get complacent , or forget to intentionally live unhurried, my pace quickens and so does my mind. I can easily sink right back into the throes of a hurried life. And when I do, I become grumpy and agitated, I lose my peace and calm, and I become overwhelmed in the most awful of ways.
It’s then I must choose to step back into the not-so-fast lane.
This lane is where I’m living today, in this very moment. I’m consciously choosing to be okay with slowing things down. I’m giving myself permission stop the madness of a fast-paced life. After writing about this last month and applying what I wrote to my own life, I’m finding my days to be much more enjoyable at this slower pace. This not-so-fast lane is beckoning me to stay and linger awhile. Could it be calling you to do the same?
But, please don’t get me wrong. I still have plenty on my plate. I’m not sitting around eating bonbons. Even though some sound pretty good right about now. I still my job responsibilities, I care for my grandson two days a week, I have writing and speaking deadlines, and I have a home to take care of. Not to mention tending to our garden, finding time to exercise, staying connected on social media, and hosting events for women. Just because we have full lives doesn’t mean we have to live in a hurry.
We can still choose to live at a slower pace.
I don’t believe it to be a coincidence that one of my favorite authors (and Iowa native!), Jennifer Dukes Lee, just released her new book, Growing Slow, this very week. Jennifer calls herself an “accidental farm girl,” and in her book she shares lessons on un-hurrying your heart. Huh, wouldn’t you know?? This is exactly what I needed to help me in my quest to slow life down. Maybe it’ll help you, too?? I can’t recommend it enough. This book is so good, and it’s available now.
When we choose to live in this not-so-fast lane of life, I think it’s imperative to equip ourselves for ways to remain there, and to forego the pull of the fast-lane world. Tools like Jennifer’s help us to do so. God’s Word does, too.
Scriptures for life in the not-so-fast lane:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
“Be still, be calm, see, and understand I am the True God. I am honored among all the nations. I am honored over all the earth.”Psalm 46:10 VOICE
Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.Psalm 116:7 NLT
Let’s take a breath and give ourselves permission to slow down.
When we live in the fast lane we can’t see what we’re missing. We can’t fully experience the scenery or the beauty or the blessings, because we’re moving too fast. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss one thing God has for me. I don’t want to miss Him, His blessings, or any lessons He’s trying to teach me. My desire is to fully embrace all He has for me and my life. Friend, I’m assuming that’s your desire, too. Living in the not-so-fast lane gives us the opportunity to live in the moment, to experience God’s goodness, and to enjoy this journey with those around us.
May we always choose this not-so-fast lane. It’s okay to slow down.
God bless you, friend. I’m glad I get to journey though life with you!
Photo: Waylin on Pixabay
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