I was running a couple minutes late for an appointment with a friend whom I know to be very punctual. As I texted them my estimated time of arrival, they texted back for me not to rush, as “rushing kills the soul.” I chuckled to myself, and thankfully, made it to the appointment without unduly rushing or being too late.
Later on, I recalled what they had texted. “Rushing kills the soul.” Of course, this is a hyperbolic statement, yet it contains a germ of truth, something I needed to remember this past week. My kids had woken up a bit late, and so I hurried them out of bed and into their school clothes. One of them was delaying eating his breakfast, so I rushed him into eating quickly. The other finished up homework as fast he could, and then we scrambled out the door so they wouldn’t be tardy to school. Once they were picked up after school, I hurried home and set them to their chores so I could send a few e-mails before dinner. After dinner it went much the same way. We hurried through play time, showers, clean-up, and finally, when it was time to read a bedtime story, my youngest child exhaled slowly and said, “Good, now I finally have time with you.”
This struck me to the heart. “Now I finally have time with you.” I can hear God saying the same thing to so many of us, regardless of our age or stage in life. “Thank you for slowing down. Now we can be together.” This isn’t a new message to us, but perhaps we need to hear it again, as Thanksgiving is just around the corner and as the Christmas season, often such a full time of year, draws near.
God doesn’t rush. God doesn’t ask us to hurry up, either, even though you’d think God has every reason to ask! Interestingly, Jesus does ask Zacchaeus to “hurry down” the tree Zacchaeus is perched in, but it’s so that they can have an unhurried dinner together, one where hearts and minds were changed and opened in new ways.
Rushing dulls our receptivity to God and others. As we get ready to enter this holiday season, let’s do it in an unhurried a way as possible, receptive to hear from and connect with God, others and our own inner world. If you see me madly dashing about, make sure to remind me, “Rushing kills the soul!” I’ll remind you too.
With you and for you,