Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A pattern for busy lives

I can't count how often I'm told to treasure these days with my little ones. Now, I'm pretty sure those parents are misremembering why 'these days' are also known as the 'terrible twos' and 'even more terrible threes.' But I also get that this period is short, and babies grow fast.

Maybe that's why I feel guilty when life runs, well, like Afton. She doesn't walk. She sprints, her slow speed a brisk jog. She doesn't sit. She squats. Even in her high chair, she crouches, all tight coiled muscles. A lot of days, our whole family paces with her, hopping from project to lesson to errand and back.

I feel like I'm supposed to artificially slow time so we can make the most of these young years. The uber-spiritual me begins equating slowly with Godly. As if I'm not really a good Christian momma unless I'm taking slow, deliberate steps. Some homeschooling monk-life figure.

Is it stupid guilt? Yes. Most of my guilt is. Just one more weight to carry while I try to keep up.

During a true slow time, I'm reading Mark. He must understand the whoosh of time. 'Immediately' is his favorite adverb. As in 33 times, his favorite adverb. Makes me think life with Jesus moved pretty quickly too. Rushing through miracles and boat rides and feeding thousands. Then Jesus presses [pause]. He pulls his disciples aside. Warns them of his death. Tells them who he is. Takes a deep breath. Then immediately takes over, they're off to heal a boy.

Pause again. Warn again. Teach again. Back to immediately, ministry frenzy.

Work, pause, teach.

The physical slowness accents the importance of the teaching. Quieting the body to let the mind wrap around something huge.

Slow moments to teach and emphasize.

But not all slow moments.

If we're all quiet moments, the emphasis is gone. A flat symphony no one remembers.

The rush isn't bad. The immediately is part of this earthly ministry where much and more hangs in the balance, and many people hurt, and many need to hear some good news.

If we're only slow, we might not cover all the ground. Jesus walked thousands of miles, touched ten thousands of people during his three year tour. It can't be done if we pause under every tree.

Work, pause, teach.

A pattern to reach the world and build disciples. Meeting immediate needs for many. Imparting a Godly understanding to a few. Sounds like the parent's job description.

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