It seems that I get to the end of my weeks and I wonder where the last seven days have gone. Life feels dictated by my calendar, and a week without more than one night-time meeting or event is a rarity. And that's just work and church, not even counting kids and their school events (and our kids aren't even on any sports team). My days are planned for me before they even begin, and free time is fleeting and easily commandeered by something more urgent or important.
I think that life has been on fast-forward for a while, but I am much more aware of it having recently been on a four-day spiritual formation retreat with Diane. Time slowed to a crawl from Wednesday to Sunday, and there was space for quiet, for naps, for reading, and for simply walking in the woods. My wife and I ate every meal together, three meals a day!
A friend recently made a comment about our “jumping right back in” after the retreat, and my thought was, “What choice did we have?” As the commercial says, “Life comes at you fast.” There were commitments and events already on the calendar waiting for us, and this pace is pretty much par for the course for our family and many others like us.
It takes courage to make a different choice, to say no to the urgent and the needful and to trust that I am not significant because of my packed schedule. Busyness is a badge of importance in our culture, but it is costly in the long term. I want to get unstuck, to slow the pace of life down. But do I have the fortitude to do it?