I have written multiple times on the beauty and the necessity of slowing down and absorbing every moment in life. The truth is, I am not very good at it. I write these essays to remind myself of these important concepts.
There are two traps I fall into:
1) Wishing away the present
2) Working so hard I miss out on the present
I think I first started falling into trap one when I was in high school. I was always excited when school started because I could see my friends. Then I "couldn't wait" until football season was over because I was too tired. Then I "couldn't wait" until Christmas came because I was tired of school. Then I "couldn't wait" until Christmas was over because I missed my friend. The cycle went on and on until I arrived at college after not being able to wait and found myself miserable. At that moment I had two choices. I could either continue to miss out on the present and live in a false reality or I could finally deal with the stuff I was trying to run from. Truthfully, most of the time I find myself being tossed back and forth from both.
Trap two is seductive because it is an evil for which we are applauded. At times I get sucked into this trap because I am a driven person who loves planning and working hard. That is just how I am wired. However, other times, behind my "driven" mask is a person who just wants to prove his worth. The truth is, my insecurity has brought me much success over the years in athletics, academics, music, and ministry. But the ugly side of this driven nature is an inability to enjoy relationships, absorb life, and be thankful.
Here are a few words of wisdom that have helped me work through the above weaknesses:
1. Nobody applauds you for taking care of yourself. But how can you serve for the long haul if you run at that pace?
2. No matter where you run you'll always have your past and your pain. Process through the pain so that you can learn, grow, and be freed.
3. "Abandon your plans of escape and be where you are. Plant gardens, live, and live well. Life is truly a gift." - Kyle Lake
4. "I have come that you would have life - life abundantly." - Jesus
(note: I signed on to write another blog but this one became HUGE. I'll post part 2 in a few days)