I talk to my kids while fixing breakfast, making lunches, driving in the car, or completing an email. I talk to my husband while washing dishes or watching TV. I talk to my friends as I run through the halls at church or on the phone while I pick up around the house or start a load of laundry. I talk to God as I sit at stoplights, wait in the carpool line or drive to the next activity (does that make my SUV a sanctuary?)
You get the point…my relationships are experienced on the run. I am seldom fully present in whatever moment I am experiencing…a suburban multi-tasking mom. Aren’t we all proud of all the things we can get done every day? Never a wasted moment? I’m pretty sure though that it isn’t very good for my relationships with those I love most.
So, this year for Lent, I am going to try to slow down. I’m going to try to slow down and really listen to whoever is talking to me, even if it means leaving something else undone. Stop doing what I’m doing, turn off the TV, step away from the computer, leave the phone unanswered and give my full attention where it needs to be at that moment. And, most importantly, that means making time to slow down and talk to God for a few minutes every day while actually sitting still…intentional prayer that includes some time to listen. While I love my running dialogue with God throughout my days, I know that I can’t really hear what He needs to say to me at the deepest level when I am doing something else at the same time. And my spirit suffers when I go too long without that kind of prayer. Lent is a good time to get back on track.
While I have written this entry, I have had two phone conversations and responded to about 5 emails…I don’t think I am going to be very good at this!
Life can be very overwhelming with all that we feel that we need to accomplish but we do need to slow down and look around. One of the greatest gifts that was ever given to me was time spent with my son, Jeffrey. Our days were filled with a lot of painful reminders about how cruel life can be but when I reflect on what our days were really about – it was about being together. It was time to look out the window and see the helicopter land, ice cream sundaes made with diet vanilla coke- Mom and I really thought maybe it was cutting calories that way :), snuggling when life was too painful, watching Lion King for the 100th time, and just being together. I cannot replace those special moments but I can be very thankful that I took the time to enjoy. So, slow down and be filled with the love and joy of your family and friends. You know that you will be greatly rewarded !
I love the idea of adopting a new discipline as opposed to “giving up” someting for Lent. It seems like I am much more likely to fail in “giving up”, but with adopting something new, like slowing down to listen, or spending daily quality time w/ God (which is what our family is going to try to do), I am focusing on allowing God to change me and make me more like Him. I also find that as I do that, I want it more. I applaud you and look forward to hearing how this goes. Now I know when I call…I will either NOT get you b/c someone else already really has you… or that I will REALLY have you. Guess I will have to think about calling for no real reason! 🙂 Love you sister!
Slow down! What a novel idea. One of the things that jsut amazes me about Jesus was his ability to always be available to those who needed him. I just finished a great book, I know I already mentioned it to you not 10 minutes ago, but I just think that everybody could really benefit from reading it s-l-o-w-l-y. It is ‘The Rest of God: restoring your soul by restoring the sabbath’ by Mark Buchanan. I just felt myself breathing more easily because of it.