My brother has a big, handsome, rather laid-back dog.
Duke’s been known to lie down in the middle of a busy Atlanta street, because, well, it was hot, he’d been walking for a while, and he just needed a quick breather.
My favorite of his nicknames, besides “Sir Duke of Buckhead” is Big Sleepy.
If you’ve ever watched an anxious human trying to take a not-so-hurried dog for a walk, you might be getting a decent picture of what our souls are feeling like these days.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned a book called Get Your Life Back by John Eldredge. It is water to a weary soul – and offers help for those of us who are feeling frenzied but just can’t put our finger the reason.
One of the ideas that really struck me as I read this book was that the door of our souls opens from the inside. That Jesus stands at the door and knocks, and we choose (or don’t) to let him in.
Maybe you’ve heard it said before:
Everyone has about as much of God as they really want.
God is available and eager to meet us where we are, to help us to find our way into the vine, abiding and in union with Him.
But perhaps a big part of our struggle is that we are forcing ourselves to run at such a hurried pace, we’re leaving our souls behind.
We aren’t grieving when things hurt.
We aren’t processing situations that have impacted what we think or believe.
We aren’t listening to what our souls are saying about our lives.
Could this be why some people wake up one day and say, “I’m just not sure I believe anymore?” Because their soul was too-hurt-to-care six months ago – and they’ve just been numbly going through the motions, ignoring it all this time?
Years ago, the Hero Hubs and I tried to adopt and live by a simple axiom:
And, even now, I recognize that hurry is the default state my patterns and personality want to drive me toward.
Can you relate? Do you:
+ Think about what else you can do with your time while you brush your teeth?
+ Find yourself struggling to fully listen to someone in conversation without also looking at something else, or checking email, or eagerly planning what you will say next?
+ Constantly look for creative ways to multi-task and squeeze 26 hours of work out of a 24 hour day?
Dallas Willard wrote, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
And when I find in myself the urge to fuss at a child instead of processing a choice together, nine times out of ten, the clock is ticking for me. We need to leave in 20 minutes. Or I need to start dinner in half an hour.
We have to get through this now, because this is the time I’ve allowed.
Now here’s a crazy thought:
What if God created a beautiful world like this, with a million shades of green and a new sky every morning, because He wanted us to enjoy it?
What if His plan is for us to do the work He created us to do, but also, to enjoy Him, in His creation? As the Westminster Catechism put it, what if our chief end really is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever?
What do you think, darling friend? Could your life use a change of pace? Does your soul need some time to taste and see that the Lord is good?
Does the idea of trying to answer that question fill you with dread because you don’t feel like you’ve got time for it?
We have to take time, friends. The next Zoom call can wait. The world will keep on turning without you.
But you cannot rightly discern what to do with this one precious life of yours, if you’re too busy spinning wheels to actually observe what you are doing with this one precious life of yours.
Take some time out, friend. And take it as soon as you can.
Get outside. Slow down. Look at the sky. Remember what it feels like to rub your fingers along the veins of a leaf.
Go for a long walk. And while I don’t want you to lie down on any busy city streets, still, I’d say let’s all take it a little more like Duke. Don’t rush yourself into a frenzy to do the next, and next and next thing.
Live this moment to the fullest. And then you can move on to the next.
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