The message to me started with a picture my cousin posted on Instagram. The caption asked, “Can you sit for 5 minutes of quiet?”
My mind immediately went to my never-ending to-do list, followed by a list of times and places our family need to be here, there and everywhere. ‘Five minutes of quiet? How on Earth can I sit for five whole minutes when there is so much to do?’ I know I’m not alone with this thinking.
In a blink of an eye, life becomes hectic. Some days I spend more time figuring out how to be in three places at once than I do actually participating in life. Most days, I feel breathless, and I spend more time with my electronic calendar than I do with anyone else.
We are not a busy family. I cannot imagine filling our days with anything more, yet I know so many families are way busier. I do not know how they do it.
A month ago, in the middle of a hectic morning, as I ran around like a crazy headless chicken, I found myself in the middle of a broken bottle with EXTREMELY expensive medicine surrounding me. I was trying to do too many things too fast, and ended up dropping the bottle which shattered everywhere. That mistake cost me precious time and money.
Two weeks ago, I broke. I sat, cried, and had no idea how to solve that night’s problem. I was exhausted, overtired, and ready for a change. I prayed for an answer.
I turned to my devotional, and the message of the day was about the savoring life. I opened another favorite devotional book, and that day’s message was also about pausing, breathing, and taking it all in. I finally heard the message LOUD AND CLEAR, “Slow down to speed up.”
The next morning, instead of “maxing out” I sipped my coffee and read my devotional. I spent time in prayer, all the while hearing, “Slow down to speed up. Slow down to speed up.” I continued this practice for a week, taking time to sip coffee, pray, and reflect instead of an intense workout. I intentionally slowed my heart, my body, and most of all, my mind down.’’
With this intentional slow down, I quickly noticed my productivity speeding up. I spent more time packing lunches than cleaning up spills. I had more time in my day since I took the time to remember where I placed things, instead of searching for lost items. My mind was clearer, and in time, my attitude changed too.
This week, I’ve gone back to my hectic workouts, but every morning, before I start digging deep, I pause, read, reflect, and pray. My energy is more, and life feels better.
It’s so easy to get caught up in life, and run around like a headless chicken. We all do it. Next time, I hope the words, “Slow down to speed up,” enter my head again. For me, it’s the only way to actually become productive again.
If you liked this post, you need I Still just want to Pee Alone.