Her six-year-old hand cautiously strikes the match, and she slowly, reverently gives light to the candle. I’m struck by the care she takes. Her pride in performing a task that I take for granted. Small eyes watch the flame dance, the smoke swirl into snakes. An ordinary evening meal transformed by a single candle in our midst.
Have you ever noticed that children do not naturally hurry? Yes, they run and jump and swirl and twirl, but they do it on their own terms, in their own time. I, on the other hand, feel as though I’m never NOT in a hurry. Too many tasks, too little time and always that clock is spurring the minutes and hours further and further away from my grasp.
So many topics wrestled in my head this week, fighting their way here to my screen. But hurry was the one screaming loud and clear. I read this sentence in Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts and was stopped dead in my tracks. Right there on page 67 she says, “Hurry always empties a soul.”
How many times have I known this in my heart, but not had the words to make it known to my head. I see the way my girls’ eyes grow dim when I rush them about with no patience. Out the door. In the car. No time to chase that bird, Anna. Are we late, again, Mom? She asks with a seriousness that should not be displayed in her face of only four years. Yes, we are late. Too late to take back the sharp words and unforgiving stare. Too late to stop the crazy, busy day and spend a few minutes in prayer. Too late, too late, too late.
Jesus was never in a hurry.
I stumbled across that sentence today in my notebook, scrawled during a sermon a few weeks past. Of course He wasn’t! Hurry always empties a soul, and Jesus always fills it. He always had time. Time for the woman at the well. Time for the sinners and the seekers. Time for me.
In Him it is never too late.
Is it possible then to take the Hurry and turn it into Healing? Can I really live in this world of schedules and commitments and expectations without letting the hurry run over me and through me? Can I live like Jesus and seek the still not just for a day or a year, but in everything?
Not on my own, and not for myself. If I try it that way, the hurry, the soul-emptying, wins every time. But thankfully, God is there in the moments of hurry. I have seen it happen. No, Anna, we are not late. I am sorry for rushing. Let’s give thanks for that beautiful bird!
His healing hand triumphs and fills, if only I give the moment to Him. The control, the worry, the fear can be replaced by The Eucharisteo, the giving of thanks, even in the moments of hurry. And then, instead of seeing the clock hands tick ever toward the undone, I can remember that the Maker of time has already done all that matters. In His time, I walk the journey and learn the lessons and give thanks.
I am praying this week for God to still my tendency to hurry about my days. To…slow…down…and praise Him for the gifts of the moment. Join me?