Patience…or the busy-ness of life

I was recently frustrated (when are we not?) with something I know a lot of people have talked about repeatedly over the past decades.  I was driving somewhere doing the speed limit like I normally do.  I got passed by someone (as is usual since I’m obeying the speed limit), but it was the speed in which the di’kut passed me.   Within moments, the driver was completely out of sight.

Okay, here’s my first gripe.  People, when you signed for your drivers license, you made a personal contract with the issuing state saying you agreed to obey the set limits of the road.  This is a personal contract between you and another entity.  I hate to point this out, but by speeding, you’re breaking your word and essentially saying, “I’m a liar, and I can’t be trusted when I give my word.”  My second gripe is that by speeding, you’re endangering the lives of other people.  If you want to be dumb and endanger yourself, go for it, but don’t do it at the expense of someone else whom you probably don’t know.  Or worse yet, someone you do.

Okay, that part of the rant is over.  But the more I got to thinking about it, I saw what this driver did in a bit broader light.  Here’s what I mean.

There’s a possibility this driver zipped passed me so fast because he was taking someone to a medical facility during a medical emergency.  Perhaps there was another emergency of an unknown nature that compelled him or her to be reckless.  And perhaps they were just being a jerk and inconsiderate of others.  Maybe they were late to work.  I honestly don’t know why the driver chose to go speeding. 

But in our lives today, do we take time to plan ahead?  I performed and worked in theater while in high school.  Our drama instructor kind of drilled into the actors and tech crew the following mantra; “Early is on time, on time is late, late is dead.”  Ever since then, I’ve tried to live by that idea when it comes to making appointments. 

I hate to be late.  Honestly, I hate to be on time.  I prefer budgeting extra time to get to an appointment, just in case there’s something in the way that causes a delay; car break down, accident, detour, etc.  I like being early.  I don’t have to be grossly early (like 30 minutes), but 5-10 minutes early is preferable.

But it’s not just about being to appointments on time, late, or early.  It’s about the whole busy-ness we as a society put in our lives.  We’re going going going all day long, for the most part.  How many of us actually take the time to take a break each day?  Heck, how many of us just actually take a break once a week?

I don’t mean that 30 minute lunch sitting by ourselves (although it can count) or the time spent in the gym working out.  Those times are too easily interrupted and even rushed.  Sure, our gym time may be our “me time”, but we’re still busy, pushing ourselves keeping our minds active and our ears full with conversation, music or tv, or any other number of distractions.

I’m wondering how many of us just really take time out each day or each week to spend time in solitude, with no electronic distractions, no other people, no work, no school, no family/friends.  Call it a mini vacation on a daily basis. 

Psalms 46:10 says “be still and know that I am God.”  Do we take time to be still?  We work all day, come home and do more work at home.  We run our kids to and fro with sports, dance, school activities.  Sure, most of us take a week vacation once or twice a year.  But even then, we fill those vacations with all sorts of activities and doing things.

I’m not against being active.  Honestly, I’m actually speaking against myself with this post.  I’m guilty of being overly active.  I plan too much stuff too often.  But I plan on making more time each week, perhaps even each day, to just be still, relax, and listen for God.