Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What If I Didn't Rush?

I think I  get a high off being efficient.

Yes, perhaps efficiency is my drug of choice these days, aside from caffeine, that is.  I get going, checking things off my list, quickly tidying, quickly emailing, quickly taking care of this and that, and her and him.  Quickly, quickly, quickly.  It's off to the grocery store, off to this playdate, off to church to quickly copy, organize, stuff, prepare.  On Sunday mornings at church (where I work), I'm zipping around making sure each room as it's proper supplies, each teacher in her proper place, every child in the right classroom.  Zip, zip, zip.  If I didn't have efficiency, my whole life would topple down, wouldn't it?

You can stop laughing now.  

But seriously, being efficient makes me feel like I'm on top of the world.  I can do anything.  No to-do list is too big.  No task insurmountable.  No scheduling snafu that is outside my bounds to fix.

But then, I got sick.  Sick like, my-brain-was-still-fuzzy-even-though-I-hadn't-run-a-fever-in-3-days, sick. Sick like I moved at the speed of molasses.  Sick like it took me until 4pm to have any semblance of energy.  Sick like I stared at the dust bunnies frolicking around the edges of the throw rug and I just shrugged my shoulders.  Carry on, dust bunnies, carry on.

It was extreme, this pendulum swing.  Going 90 miles per hour one moment and then stopped in my tracks the next.  And as much as my mind wanted to my body to rev up again the moment my sickness vacated my flesh, my body couldn't hang with the speed.  It needed more time to recover.  It needed to savor the restful moments.  It needed to revel in the relief.

And do you know what the weirdest thing about this whole thing is?  I'm not inordinately behind.  I'm not being crushed by the weight of housework, lesson planning, or blogging.  I'm still not full-speed, but I don't feel stressed.  I don't feel the need to return to break-neck pace because the graceful speed of walking through life seems to be sufficient.  I think that perhaps the reason why I felt I must rush to get all my work done is because I feared that if I didn't, there would never be any time to relax, or do something I wanted to do.  What I'm finding is though, when I don't rush, I end up enjoying whatever it is I'm doing (even work) more.  If I'm enjoying something, it doesn't feel quite so burdensome, it doesn't take up as much of my energy.  I finish the task still full instead of depleted.

And all of the sudden, this makes crystal-clear sense. I rushed because I was worried things wouldn't get done.  Worrying sapped my energy.  Worry held me in captivity.  But He says,

"And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
 And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things.  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs."
Luke 12: 28-30, NLT

And, now, I can be free.  Free of worry.  Free of rushing.  Free to savor life at the graceful speed of walking.


  1. i am breathing a sigh of relief, jen. thanks for the reminder...love, jodi

  2. I definitely get what you're saying...love the passage from Luke 12 that you shared.

    Hope you have a great day, Jen!

  3. This is such a well put truth. Worry does keep us captive- so thankful for His perfect love and assurance that can set us free from our fear. The thought of feeling "full" after my daily tasks rather than depleted is like a breath of fresh air. I am going to slow down today and take a deep breath- and try to enjoy the present moments around me. Thanks for such a great reminder.

  4. Jen - sometimes I think we're twins. I can't find the words I want to say but YES!...YES comes to mind. I just read somewhere about worry...yes it was Mary Demuth's post today. If you get time read it. I had to confess..

  5. Good post, good point, good for all of us to think about. I'm always amazed at your depth!

  6. Yes, perhaps efficiency is my drug of choice these days, aside from caffeine, that is...

    this entire paragraph was so snappy and efficient?;) I would like some of that efficiency...but totally get what you are saying and it is really good to breath and enjoy and this really does do with worry, doesn't it?

    you go girl! super post:)

  7. This piece is so very timely for me. I have been feeling overwhelmed with family responsibilities, trying to be efficient, racing around with elevated blood pressure... Thank you for the reminder, Jen.

  8. I have often finding myself thinking the same thing. When I don't rush things, I tend to find myself having a lot of time doing other things and enjoying the things I do have to do.

  9. Ah, living in the moment is a wonderful art.



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