Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Slow Down, Speedracer

A beautiful sunset from Balboa Island, where I took a speed walk with
 a friend. Luckily, we slowed down to appreciate this little gem.

I like to go fast.  

I walk fast. I eat fast. But I especially like to drive fast. (Leadfoot is my middle name.  I mean, it’s not, but I have like 34 middle names so it might as well be). 

On Sunday, I was driving with a friend to lunch, complaining that lately, I seemed to have been blessed to find myself driving behind the slowest people on earth.  As if on cue, a wonderfully grand minivan pulled out in front of me.  Apparently unable to locate her accelerator, she brilliantly stalled the line of cars departing from the parking lot. 

My eyes rolling and my voice getting a bit too excited, I turn to my friend: 

SEE?!?!  What did I just say?! So freaking annoying! 

So let’s pause a moment.  Because I may have forgotten to mention that I was driving out of a church parking lot.  

Yup.  I was about to lose it over a mom driving her kids home from church.  

And if you thought that was bad, just wait! There’s more….

About 10 minutes later, a little green Nissan Leaf  (at least it wasn’t a Prius- don’t even get me started on freaking Priuses) cuts me off, the driver completely oblivious to life as we know it, and goes so impossibly slow, I turn to my friend again with my best are you freaking kidding me face (I’m pretty expressive and make all kinds of fun faces, but “freak out” is one of my favorites).  That’s when I looked at my speedometer and I realize that Mr. Leaf is going—you guessed it—the speed limit.  

Not only did I get mad at mommy driving her kids home from church, I then got downright pissed at an environmentally friendly vehicle going the speed limit.  

There was nothing left to do but burst into laughter.  Two signs, one message. 

Slow down. 

This lesson makes sense, because my life has been a bit in limbo lately—a little slower than I’d like. I have a lot up in the air with my career, school, relationships.  And let me tell you, it sucks.

But I’ve realized that this uncertainty, it’s part of the plan, too.  That God has me in this season for a reason.

And I’ve figured out one of the reasons.  

Get ready for a truly deep insight: The biggest lesson I’ve learned…(drumroll)…is that I’m learning lots of lessons. 


I know what you’re thinking: Gee, thanks Einstein.  But this is good stuff so bear with me. 

I know lessons have been thrown at me my whole life.  And I’m sure busy-and-important me caught one here or there.  

But now that I’m slowing down and being more present to them, I’m realizing there are incredible lessons being hurled at me all the time.  Lately, I’ve been almost overwhelmed by them.  

And these lessons, they’re game changers.  Little treasures have stretched me far out of my comfort zone, and have made me stronger, braver, wiser.  And the most painful experiences?  They’ve been my biggest teachers. 

Being in this place is interesting because on the one hand: WOW! To think that I almost missed these awesome lessons!  And on the other hand: CRAP! What have I been missing?

So I’m learning to be grateful for this time.  Keeping in mind that if I go too fast, I might miss what God is trying to show me.  Remembering that I need to slow down, be patient (ugh one of my least favorite words), and let him lead me. 

My morning devotional* reminded me: 

I am leading you, step by step, through your life.  Hold my hand in trusting dependence, letting me guide you through this day.  Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy- even precarious…Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to me.

Maybe going fast isn’t always best.  Maybe I’ll even try driving the speed limit. Maybe. 

*From Jesus Calling, my favorite devotional of all time forever and ever, Amen. 

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