Monday, October 09, 2006

Slowing Down

It took a long time, but I realized tonight just how rarely I stop and slow down.

Slow down enough to hear myself think.
Slow down enough to realize what I'm feeling.
Slow down enough to realize just what I want, and need in this life.
Slow down enough to hear God talking to me.
Slow down enough to realize how blessed and loved I am.

Today was one of those days where I was going through the motions, seeming like everything was fine, had my schedule for the day in my head, and was just looking forward to getting through it. I could feel my bed calling me all day long, almost counting down the hours until the day was over. What hurts so much now is that I realized how much I missed today. And then thinking more, how much I miss everyday. This mentality of "make it through the day" is so common for me lately, and I dare say not just for me. I got home after getting through the things that "had" to get done (which were really enjoyable, and I shouldn't have been thinking of them that way), and just felt drained. Was bummed. Was angry. Was feeling pretty empty. When I have the mentality of making it through the day, there isn't room for satisfaction, accomplishment, or just plain joy. I was missing all of that, even though it seemed like a good day.

This funk threw me into workout mode, and I found myself down at the Y. I had left the iPod at home, and the televisions, though they were closed-captioned and I could have followed along, weren't catching my attention which I couldn't be more thankful for now. I ended up just talking through things with God and just myself for a good half hour, not realizing that I was running (which is a great side benefit!), and felt some of the tension that had been sitting in my back for days just lift. It was like a weight had physically been taken off my shoulders.

As I walked out to my car in the parking lot just yards from Lake Michigan, I heard the waves rolling over and crashing onto the shore. I smelled the distinctive smell of fall leaves. I felt the chill in the air that made me pull my hands into the sleeves of my coat. All of this was just an awesome reminder of this whole world that exists around me everyday, and can, if I only left it, serve as a constant reminder of just how much I'm loved by an awesome God who made heaven and earth Himself.

It's a comforting reminder on days when I let the world catch up with me. I'm quick to turn on the TV as soon as I get home, so I have some background noise and don't have to deal with the stuff filling my head. I'm quick to turn to the latest book I'm reading, or spreadsheet I'm working on at work, instead of concerning myself with what's really going on in my heart. I'm quick to call the friend who comes to mind first when I'm angry, or upset, or just down rather than turning to God in prayer.

As much of a bummer as what was going on in my head and heart earlier today was, I couldn't be more thankful for the chance it gave me to slow down, catch up with God and myself rather than the world, and start to re-prioritize and re-familiarize myself with what matters.

1 comment:

AndDro said...

If you just don't think about how bad our jobs can be sometimes it's like they aren't bad at all. You need to stop thinking about the stuff that sucks and just realize that it has to be done.