I won’t tell you how many years I have been driving – let’s just say more than 30. In that time, I have had the heart racing experience of being pulled over for speeding twice. The crazy thing is that those unfortunate moments were less than a month apart! My explanation: wedding planning distraction. That gives you a clue to how long ago it was.
My mind often wanders down some interesting paths. Today I was thinking: What it would be like if the speed of my life was monitored in the same way my driving speed is? I think my ticket tally would be much higher!
I hurry! I can’t lie. I don’t want to hurry. It is just so easy to get caught up in the current of life!
In my mind’s meanderings today, I realized that the negative affect of hurrying is much greater than getting a ticket. The main hazard of hurrying is the effect it has on my thinking. Just like speed distorts the sights on either side of you, speed also distorts how you think about your circumstances and relationships. Even things I love feel like obstacles in my way when I am racing through life.
See if you can relate to these hazardous thoughts that pop up when you hurry:
1. It’s their fault – blame
When I am zipping along at a hurried speed, it is easy to ignore the role I play in situations and spot everything everyone else is doing wrong. It is bad enough if I just think these thoughts, but more often than not, these thoughts become words that destroy those around me. More damage done!
2. No one understands all I have going on – victim
Speed seems to increase the odds that I will view myself as a victim. Suddenly the world is against me. I get resentful. I hate that my worst enemy is actually me!
To be thankful requires time to pause, delight in a thing, and experience its beauty. When moving at break-neck speed, that’s impossible. Gratitude requires a pace that allows space for thankfulness
4. Unrealistic Expectations
That faster I go, the less I effectively communicate – after all, that takes too much time, right?
Wrong! In the end, my unspoken expectations backfire and leave scars on the ones I love. Slowing down so I can actually identify how I want others to help me, and communicating it well, will ultimately save time and prevent much aggravation.
5. The world revolves around ME!
This one is hard to admit, but true. I might not even realize that is what I am thinking – sadly, self-deception runs deep!
A speed demon on the road rarely notices the many maneuvers everyone behind him or her is making because of their reckless driving. It is all about them.
6. I am important
I am not sure when it started. Maybe it has always been this way. Somehow being busy and needing to hurry is a sign of importance in our culture. The more things I can list that are consuming my time, the more significant I feel.
The fallacy of this thinking is that while I may feel important, others rarely see me this way. Slowing down, being available, and taking the time to acknowledge others and enter their world will convey value. That’s when they will begin to view me as important.
It is time to put on the brakes! Slow things down and stick to the speed limit; in order to slow down I must accept my circumstances and limits. It requires me to rely more on God. As I make those changes my thinking will be transformed!
Romans 12:1-2 MSG with my own thoughts added in brackets:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: [Slow down and] take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
How about you? How well are you sticking to the speed limit? What hazardous thoughts creep into your mind when you hurry? How do those thoughts affect your life and leadership?
Image: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Kaspri