I’m in a hurry to get things done
I rush and rush until life’s no fun*
Or until I slam my finger in a locked car door.
That brought my hurry up life to a screeching halt about 2 weeks ago. Intense pain has a way of getting our attention. The busy, productive day I had planned took a detour that looked a lot like me settling into a position where my hand could be elevated on pillows and I got to continue the book series I have been reading through this summer.
My least favorite kind.
The whole ordeal made me introspective. How, I asked myself, could such a small injury-one half of one digit on my dominant hand affect every part of my waking hours? I know the answer: our fingertips are jam packed with nerve endings, which allow us to distinguish thousands of different sensations-a wonderful thing. However, the more pain receptors, the more intense the pain, ergo the smallest paper cut can send us howling.
There is no way around this throbbing, swollen finger…I am a captive to time.
I started thinking about other parts of life that cannot be hurried. The kind of things that have their own ebb and flow in life, despite our coaxing, “Hurry up!” We are just along for the ride.
Feeding a baby a bottle is one of those things. It makes us sit down and be present in the task. We can’t hurry a 5 month old into gulping faster. We don’t want to. It’s an honor to be involved in such an important part of their growth and development.
Karalin Grace has reminded me of that. I count the time I spend feeding my little granddaughter her bottle as time I want to stand still. Holy moments as we stare into each other’s eyes. I long to know what she is thinking. Here’s what I am thinking: this time will be gone too fast. Slow down.
57 years of living taught me that.
Healing is another thing that cannot be hurried. Our bodies are amazing. As a nurse, God’s design for how the body heals itself still keeps me in awe. But it takes time. Time that has it’s own pace that we are captive unto. That hits home as I hunt and peck this keyboard, protecting the still sore finger.
It is good to be sidelined sometimes. To be reminded that the world keeps going on without us, just fine. We are not so important as to hold up the universe, even the universe of our lives.
The Bible taught me that.
It says, be still.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Ps 46:10)
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” (Ps 37:7)
We are encouraged by spiritual fathers of the past to look not only to participating in the outward Christian disciplines of worship, service and giving, but seek to incorporate silence and solitude into our practice of faith. In a world that values production and accomplishment, it is sometimes hard to sit and wait. The blessing is in the action of being still on purpose. To wait patiently for Him.
With expectation of meeting the divine.
God desires our attention. And He will have it one way or another. Freely given. Or heaven directed.
As the bruises fade and tenderness subside, I realize I needed to be attentive to what I had put off for too long.
And I am thankful.
* Excerpt from I’m in a Hurry by Randy VanWarmer and Roger Murrah