Hurry Up, Slow Down

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This world we live in is always in a hurry. As a matter of fact, if you aren’t in a hurry, people just assume you are not living right. You mean you don’t need to rush off to the next task? What is wrong with you? Well, it just so happens that I am learning to slow down. It hasn’t always been so, but I’m trying. Let’s just call me a reformed hurry-er.

I attended a spiritual retreat over the weekend. Even the word retreat means to remove yourself from the world, to slow down, to take a deep breath. Here I was in a room full of women who took time out from their busy lives to practice some introspection, and still there were many who could not stop their hurry-up lives. Maybe a one night getaway was just not enough. Perhaps it was simply the retreat coordinators that found it so difficult to slow down while so much preparation was still needed, but there were many, trust me. It made me sad.

If you spend your life in fast forward, going from one task to the next, you might just miss the simple pleasures. Can you sit down for tea with a friend, and just talk? Can you take a moment to simply stare out the window at God’s beauty while taking slow, deep breaths? Will you stop to see the butterfly hovering over a flower? Do you see the way the birds float on the breeze over head? And when was the last time you did stop to smell the proverbial or real rose?

Even the busiest life has a few moments of quiet now and then, if you know where to look for them. Have a long commute? Well, go a different way today and see where it takes you. Waiting at the dentist? Stand and look out the window while you wait, count the people hurrying by while you breathe deeply. Appointment cancelled? Take a stroll, down the hall or around the block. Kids in bed early? Take a moment to just be before you start the next task. Not sure what task to tackle next? You could even pray or meditate briefly before you begin.

So hurry up and slow down. You might be surprised to find out that life doesn’t have to always be in a rush.

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