It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life; focusing too much on the destination instead of enjoying the journey. As our schedules fill up with important events and we start finding our minds in different places, may we remember to focus on being present and simply enjoying life as we experience it. We share with you today a story about living life in the slow lane; one to keep in mind even more so with the holiday season upon us.
I always seemed to be running late. I’d strap on my seat belt, put the car in gear, and slam the accelerator to the floor in an attempt to make up for the five or ten minutes that I’d somehow lost. The scenery became nothing but a blur as I played chicken with the traffic lights. This constant rushing also extended into other aspects of my life whether it was at the grocery store or the shopping mall. I’d rush around as if there weren’t enough hours in the day and I was afraid I might miss something.
One day, as fate would have it, I ran out of gas. As my car coasted off the road, I looked at my watch and smacked the steering wheel in frustration. I had a meeting in fifteen minutes and I hadn’t even finished preparing. But as I got out of my car, an amazing thing happened. I looked out toward the east, and the sun was just beginning to blaze over the horizon. There was a low misty fog hanging over the river and ducks were cutting thick, smooth trails across the otherwise glass-like surface of the water. A few sailboats sat at anchor, their mirror images extending out before them. And as the sun inched up through tiny trails of clouds that stretched across the sky, it extended beacons of glorious, wondrous light that shouted with all its beauty and strength, “Behold world! I have risen, again, for another day!”
I was awestruck. This glorious scene had been going on right outside my car every morning and I had never taken the time to see it. I had been rushing around in such a hurry to not miss anything and I had actually been missing everything. I had been transformed. My heart, my mind and my soul were all lighter. Life went from a fast jitterbug into a slow, fluid waltz. I slowed down enough to see the people I worked with to talk to them about things other than work. I began taking long, slow walks around my yard and neighborhood, noticing for the first time all the mysteries and wonders that were right there for me to see, patiently waiting for me to slow down enough to notice. Not only were there sights that I had been missing, but I began to hear entire symphonies all around me: birds singing, wind blowing, leaves rustling.
As I continued to practice my newfound peace, I discovered, to my amazement, another sound: a still, small voice deep inside my soul. And this voice had incredible things to say, images of intense beauty to point out, flashes of great insight, pearls of deep wisdom and constant words of inspiration, encouragement and guidance. For years I had been running and running, never realizing that the destination I was racing to was exactly the place that I already was.
No longer is life passing me by. I am here, fully present in every moment of life as it unfolds before me. Joyfully, peacefully, patiently traveling this life in the slow lane, and enjoying every precious moment.