Tag Archive | slow down

6/1/12 Today’s Advice to My Beautiful Daughters – Make room for others.

This post is inspired by a message delivered by the amazing Pastor Becky last Sunday…a message that I needed to hear.

Life is full of lots of roads.  There are the regular city roads, with just enough room (most of the time) for free flowing traffic in either direction.  There are super-highways with multiple lanes of speeding cars and there are the small winding roads and paths, the narrow ones with just enough room for one.

It is on the narrow paths that we really have to pay attention.  We have to take turns, look for ways to let others get by, and even lend a hand to get over a particularly bumpy, steep or difficult part.  It is on the small narrow paths, the ones that can seem treacherous and scary, that we learn to make room for others.  We can’t just speed through oblivious to who might be walking or riding beside us.  We have to pay attention, be mindful, share the space.

When  you find yourself on a narrow path, turn down the music and turn off the distractions and just pay attention.  Pay attention to the people around you.  See who needs help and who needs a little extra room.  Step aside to let someone pass.  Lend a hand to someone who needs a boost.  Look around to see the hand outstretched in help to you.  These paths are narrow, but they don’t need to be traveled alone.

When you are frustrated by the slowness, the bumpiness and the general difficulty of the narrow paths, ask God to give you the feet for the path.  Instead of impatiently asking for the path to be cleared, ask instead that you be equipped to handle it.  Because the narrow paths really do have the best views and you don’t want to miss out.  So make room for others, and enjoy the beauty together.

The last picture is taken on a path in Hocking Hills, OH.  This particular path is on the property where Mark and I got married.  It is a beautiful place.  And this particular path is the perfect metaphor for the paths that are best when shared.  The views have been pretty good so far!

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5/31/12 Today’s Advice to My Beautiful Daughters – It’s not a race.

It’s not a race.

More and more, we treat life like a race, like a sprint to some imagined finish line.  We just want to get to the next thing, to be done, to get there.  When we don’t get that instant gratification, when things take longer than we would like, we get discouraged, and want to give up.

Life is not a race.  It is a journey.  Most of the good things happen between the milestones, between the start and the finish (whatever that may be).

When I walk in the Susan G. Komen 3Day for the Cure, the start is exciting and invigorating, designed to pump us up for the journey ahead.  The end is emotional, exhilarating, and is often an emotional highlight of my entire year.  It feels so incredible to finish something so hard.  But between the start and finish is the EXPERIENCE.  The pain of all those steps is a reminder of the battles that people fight every day.  The end wouldn’t be nearly as sweet if the middle wasn’t so hard.  If I treat it like a race, not only do I miss the good stuff, but I risk injury (trust me!) Long journeys  teach me that putting one foot in front of the other, ESPECIALLY when you don’t want to, result in the sweetest finishes.

Don’t get me wrong, beginnings and endings can be beautiful, heartbreaking and memorable.  But they aren’t the only thing.  When we focus on the finish, we lose sight of the now.  If we focus on death, we don’t live.  If we focus on being done, we miss the experience of doing.

So don’t forget the journey.  Don’t focus so much on the end, that you get discouraged or miss something.  Put one foot in front of the other.  Look around.  Slow down.  Eventually you will get there, richer for the experience.

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My new friend from Ireland climbed a mountain last weekend, and her post  had a comment that inspired this.  Someone else who had climbed this mountain was inspired by an old woman who noticed that she looked discouraged and said, “sure, you’ll make it. It’s not a race. You just put one foot in front of the other, and before you know it, you’re there.” (Thanks to Lois  for the inspiration!)