A few weeks ago, I was standing in line at Target with a large basket of stuff for Carter and my house. The lady behind me only had a few things in her hands, so I offered for her to jump in front of me. I was surprised when she said “No, thank you. I am refusing to rush this year.”
Whoa . . . I love that idea.
It’s easy to get swept away in the frantic fast pace of everyone around us, isn’t it? I can’t name a single one of my friends who says, “I have too much time on my hands,” or, “I just don’t have enough to do.” Instead we go on and on (with pride, even!) about how busy we are. We wear busyness like it’s a badge of honor.
But I love what the woman in Target said, because she was acknowledging that rushing is a choice. So often I forget that simple truth. I rush around frantically as if it’s something I have to do as a result of my packed schedule and never-ending task list. Rory Vaden said, “Anything on our schedule is something we either put there or allowed to be there.” See, we aren’t victims in our lives. We have the power to make our life whatever we want it to be. We can choose to be rushed and running ragged, busy and burnt out. Or we can choose to slow the heck down.
And did you know that God doesn’t want us to rush? In fact, He wants quite the opposite for us. He said in Jeremiah 2:25, “Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry.” Another great reminder is in Psalm 23:2 where God says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.” He says later in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” Again and again in scripture, God encourages us, reminds us, and in some cases makes us slow down.
How many of us need to hear that? If you feel like your to-do list is never ending and you’re just spinning your wheels, maybe it’s time to choose something different. We can be stressed and frazzled and always in a hurry, or we can force ourselves to slow down, do less and live more. We can refuse to rush.
Since I’ve been challenged by this idea, I’ve tried something new when I’m driving. When I’m driving down the road in a rush, I of course always end up behind a really slow car. In those moments, my first instinct is to get frustrated. I can feel my heart start to race and I just want to swerve around them to get to where I need to be.
But lately I’ve been trying something new. I stop and force myself to think, “Well look at them. They are just not in a hurry at all. Good for them. That must be nice. You know what? I am just going to slow down and not be in a hurry either.”
Because whether you’re raging down the road in traffic or getting your pants in a wad over someone in front of you in line at Target with 100 items, we all have the choice every day.
Let’s do ourselves and everyone else a favor and refuse to rush instead.