Have you ever noticed how worry and hurry seem to be joined at the hip?
When I’m worried that I’m going to be late, I hurry. When I’m worried that I won’t get everything done that needs to be done when it needs to be done, I hurry. When I’m worried that I’m not going to meet the expectations and timeframes of others, I hurry.
When I’m in a hurry I’m only interested in the destination. When I’m in a hurry I’m tight and tense. Everything about me is hurried. I walk faster, I talk faster, my breathing is shallower (if I remember to breathe at all – sometimes I catch myself holding my breath), my movements lose their coordination and I get clumsy. When I’m in a hurry I lose my patience and my tolerance for the slowness of others.
When I’m in a hurry I only notice what I need to get to where I’m going. When I’m in a hurry I become a person I don’t much like.
But when I choose to slow down, when I start to breathe again, I look around and I start to notice the things around me. The things that help me rest.
I notice the morning sunlight illuminating blossom petals in my garden.
I notice how the muscles in my legs move as I walk (a little slower). How the rhythm returns to my stride.
I notice the expressions on the faces of the people I meet.
I notice the floating duck silhouetted against the last blush of twilight on my way home from work.
I notice how the spring air is soft on my skin.
I notice the scent of flowers in the evening.
When I slow down, I hear God whispering and I realise that he’s been speaking to me all along.
In An Unhurried life, Alan Fadling writes, “When I found myself slowing down inside, the Lord seemed to say, ‘Don’t talk trust and live worry.’ … Jesus was inviting me to live with trust in him instead of worry.”
And that’s also the invitation of Jesus to me and to you. To slow down and walk with him, to live with trust in him instead of worry. The invitation to trust him is also an invitation to rest in him, to “learn the unforced rhythms of grace”.