I read this in a devotion book yesterday: "If we are like most North Americans, life has one defining characteristic: speed.
"God, on the other hand, is slow. Not in the way that we understand slowness -- as sloth or inability -- but slow in the sense of infinitely patient and gracious. God is slow because he works with people. God is slow because he is in the growing business. God is slow because love is slow."*
I was so impressed by this because it brought me back to a more objective reality, that life (specifically my life) is not about finishing first, it's not about getting it all done, and it's definitely not about either of those things happening right this minute. I confess, though, that the speed of my life is too fast more often than not. I miss the beautiful sights on the way because I'm impatient to reach a goal. I have a vision for my life, and I want to arrive there by the Concorde instead of by walking.
On the other hand, while I want to reach my future goals at warp speed, I sometimes look at my life so far and feel that I haven't really accomplished yet. I struggle with feeling like I've been left in the dust when I look at what others have accomplished already, and it's too late to catch up.
I guess those two things together are part of the reason I'm making a plan for the future, starting with going back to school. Although I want to enjoy my journey, I want to know what the next destination is. After all, if you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you've arrived... right? I think in the past, I've thought that making a long-term plan was incompatible with enjoying the journey. That having both wasn't possible.
I hope I was wrong. I hope that somehow over the next several years I can work toward my goal and enjoy the process. I hope that by accepting that this will take years instead of hours, I can relax and be surprised by what God teaches me along the way. I hope that I can find the place where I am content because I know that I'm in exactly the right place, and that my right place is irrelevant from where anybody else happens to be at the moment.
I hope I can appreciate that while getting somewhere by Concorde is glamorous and fast, that God works when I walk with him. I hope I can look for the lessons he can teach me when I lace up my shoes and take today's steps towards the goal.
* From Shifting Gears: Maps & Meditations for the Sea to Sea 2008 Bike Tour, Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2008.
Why am I reading this book?
The Christian Reformed Church and Reformed Church of America, along with other partners, organized the Sea to Sea Bike Tour to raise awareness about poverty issues and to raise funds for causes that work to address poverty. One of the riders is a member of my church. The devotion book was written for the cyclists and those who helped sponsor the tour. For more information, visit www.seatosea.org.