I sat down with my friend and pastor Pete Wilson this week to interview him about the book Crazy Love and he said something that really stuck with me.
“We need to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives.”
That one hit me right between the eyes.
I am humiliated to say how many times a day I say things like, “Hurry and get out of the car, girls. Now!” and “Please help me get this done-I’m so late for my appointment.”
And usually it isn’t in my Sunday voice.
I have known for years that it’s my tendency to get in over my head with obligations, but recently it has really started to take a toll on me. There are more nights that I go to bed feeling like I gave my kids my “leftovers” than I would care to admit.
I doubt that this will be one of my most articulate posts, which I am attributing to the fact that I just turned in my first book manuscript and I am crying from exhaustion, but I do hope you can connect with it.
A couple years ago I bought a book that is now dog-eared and marked up like crazy. It’s called “Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ” by Madame Jeanne Guyon, and it is incredible.
She was an amazing woman who lived in the seventeenth century, and she had a life that nobody would envy as far as difficult circumstances. As a young woman her face was horribly disfigured by disease and she was grateful for it because she didn’t have to worry about her vanity anymore.
Umm, yeah. I’m sure that would have been my first reaction too.
She completely inspires me to be a better woman, with my heart fully and completely surrendered to the Lord. In the book she talks about how to read through scripture slowly and meditatively, focusing on each word and letting it soak in until you feel the Holy Spirit urge you to move on.
I realized how incredibly difficult this was for me when I told Todd what I was reading one night and he didn’t stop laughing for a half hour.
“I’m reading a book on slowing down and meditating to be really present with the Lord. It’s about total focus. It’s good, Todd.”
“Angie, has anything about this situation struck you as odd?” He looked at me and crossed his arms accusingly, a smirk on his face.
I scanned the room, eyes rolling around in the old, “I have no idea what you’re talking about” kind of way.
“Babe.” He stared at me.
“You’re reading the book while sitting in the bathtub with a highlighter, a pen, wet fingernails, a facial masque, and a phone next to you.”
And so I was.
So much for complete concentration.
I think about that moment a lot, because I love to come up with excuses as to why I am so stressed out, why I am running late, why I am snapping at my children (shocking, I know. Surely you can’t relate, right?), why my house is a mess and I can’t EVER get through the laundry.
And don’t get me started on the granite.
I don’t know the science behind it, but you can’t make it perfectly clean. Try. Wipe it 3 or 4 times with your cleaner and then run your hand along it. Crumbs, right? Argh.
For crying out loud, I can’t even write one article without getting sidetracked! But do feel free to give me any granite tips in your comments.
We live in a drive-thru, speakerphone, text message, hustle and bustle world and quite frankly, I think I need off the ride for a couple minutes.
What is really important right now? What prevents me from feeling like I have focused on those things?
I need to do some inventory, and I think that (in)courage is the perfect place to plant my thoughts and ask you to help them grow.
How do you slow down? Make time for what matters?
Tell us all how you get ruthless with eliminating hurry-I assure you we could all some great tips.
Let me run and get my pen and highlighter first, though…