Don't be impatient for the LORD to act! Travel steadily along his path. Psalm 37:34 (NLT)
Ready…set…CONQUER! Being the antithesis of a patient procrastinator, that's my motto. In fact, give me a task, and I'm on it until it's done. Maybe it's a control thing, but I don't like having any unfinished tasks hanging over my head. I like closure and completion. I like productivity and progress. I like getting it done, and getting it done now!
If you don't know this already, conquering book projects at a rabbit's pace is not a reasonable aspiration for a writer—not a writer like me, anyhow. And because of that, I've had many, many frustrating days, trying to get through book projects. Add to that my many frustrating days of trying to conquer life. It's like I can't enjoy my life in the moment because I'm always trying to speed through the next finish line. But instead, I find myself crawling at a turtle's pace. Sometimes it's like those dreams where it feels like I'm trying to run in quicksand. And where does taking time for people fit into this task-oriented equation? Answer: unfortunately, somewhere near the bottom.
One of my new friends mentioned something to me last year when I met her in India. Becky told me she was having trouble being productive many days, so she reminded herself frequently, "Slow and steady wins the race." At the time, her comment made no sense to me, a rabbit, whatsoever. Rabbits never go slow, and they never lose, do they? Rabbits don't have time to smell flowers when they're closing in on lettuce at the finish line.
But as I continued on my fast track to life, feeling hurried and stressed out, trying to conquer my agenda while feeling the guilt of getting nowhere and reaching out to few, I remembered Becky's words. And I also remembered how Jesus was never in a hurry to get anywhere, but He traveled at a turtle's pace, always making time for people—and probably the beautiful flowers He made—along the way. And I began to change my mentality, and my pace. I began to give myself permission to move more slowly toward my finish lines, and to enjoy the process.
And you know what happened? Things still got done, but it was a much more enjoyable process along the way! And I can't prove it, but I think I had more creative inspiration and worked more efficiently.
What about you—what's your pace today? Are you living for the journey or the destination? Are you enjoying the process, or missing it in haste? As I think about the life of Jesus, I realize that the Christian life—the race—is meant to be run slow and steady. God doesn't expect you and I to do it all today. He wants us to slow down, take a deep breath, enjoy the journey, and make time for others. Take one day at a time, and we'll finish when we finish, but our days will be more significant.
Surely that is why the turtle won the race.