If you're anything like me and the vast majority of Americans, you're a fairly busy person.
When I moved back to Northern Virginia in April, I started a temp job to hold me over while I looked for a full-time position that would mesh well with this current season of my life. That temp job put me in a high-rise office building on the corner of a busy street in the middle of downtown Washington D.C. I took the metro to and from work every day, squeezing in tight and getting nice and cozy with my fellow commuters.
After a few days of what would become my daily commuter for over three months, I noticed something — everybody was rushing.
If you walk down any street in Washington D.C., you'll find people rushing — across the street, seconds before the light changes. Out the door and into the crowd. To the corner to hail a cab. Down the metro escalators and straight into the closing train doors.
Their heads are down, their feet move fast, and they barely acknowledge anyone or anything that passes them by. They're buried in cell phones, a constant stream of loud music blocking out the noise of the crowd. They miss smiles and greetings from other faces, laughter and conversations around them, and so many beautiful and wonderful things about life.
They rush right past them.
After about two weeks of getting caught up in the constant flow of quick moving feet and heads buried in cell phones on train rides, I made a decision — I refused to rush through life.
It might not seem like a big deal to rush down the stairs of the escalator or across the street at the last second. You might even say it's a more economical way to spend your time because you don't have to wait a whole 'nother light cycle before you can cross the street or another 15 minutes for the next train.
But here's what I've noticed — the little rushing turns into big rushing. When I rush through the little things in life, that mentality bleeds into all of my life and I end up rushing through everything that's important to me.
I rush through meals meant to be savored, coffee dates with friends, mornings filled with quiet, and books that should be lingered over. I skim and glance and talk faster and walk faster and drive faster and before I know it, days and weeks and months and years have passed and I feel like I missed it because I was always rushing.
Ann Voskamp say it this way, "Hurry always empties a soul."
The things that truly feed our soul are the things that take time. They can't be compartmentalized and schedule, fit into nice, tidy time blocks in a calendar. They can't be fit into 15 minutes at the end of a day or once a week. They're the things we must make time for, slow and intentional time.
This is my encouragement to you today: don't rush through your life.
Autumn is a time filled with dichotomy and tension. It's a time that begs to be savored, as we throw celebrate holidays and carve pumpkins and run through corn mazes and light bonfires in our backyards. And yet it often seems that in our attempts to savor autumn, we rush right through it.
We fill our days with too much activity and not enough being. We have school activities and autumn bucket lists and long car rides to see families and friends. We plan our days and our nights and our weekends months in advance, filling them with activity after activity. And we forget that often the best part about autumn, about any season really, is simply being with the ones we love.
Start with this weekend. Whatever you have planned, whatever's on the calendar, don't rush through it. Savor every moment. Delight in every smile and ray of sunshine and lock all those memories away tight in your heart. Begin by refusing to rush through one day. Then make it two. Then three.
Don't rush through your life, friend. It's too short and wonderful to be anything but savored.
image via minimography