Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Resting in the Moment

I'm a quick reader. I always have been. As a child the people around me were always astounded by the speed with which I would devour a book. I was pleased at that. I have to admit the recognition felt good. But mostly... mostly I just couldn't wait to find out what happened next.

I'm still that way. It's harder now that my eyesight isn't as good. It takes me longer to focus; longer to make sense of the words on the page. But, still... I've torn through two books today. That's in addition to spending time shopping with my daughter; doing laundry; checking facebook; fixing supper, etc....

I'll admit that the first book was a fairly quick read. The second, though, was a little more intensive... a little more thought-provoking. And there were several times I thought "This is good.... I need to journal and explore this some...." I was anxious, though, to find out where the author was going to end up. This wasn't fun fiction. But I still wanted to see what happened... what the answers were. I tore through it looking for the next good piece of info... figuring I'd journal about it after I'd finished it.

But when I finished... I realized... I don't necessarily remember those things that punched me in the gut as I was reading. I was so anxious looking for the next bit of info, wanting to know how the author dealt with the things in her life... that I blew on through, pushing past everything to get to the "end" and see what was there.

And after I closed the book and started preparing for bed, I realized... I should have stopped. When those bits brought emotion or provoked thought... I should've stopped right then. I should have allowed myself time to process and explore; to discover what meaning and application it had for my own life. But the things that should have been savored and chewed on were gulped down like a fast food meal. My incessant search for knowledge and my incredible drive to find out the ending cheapened the journey my heart could have taken. I went flying past to see what more there was when I should have rested in those moments.... wrestled with those moments, even. It's in those moments of wrestling, after all, that we begin to know God... that we begin to know ourselves. But my insatiable need to know the ending... to gather all the knowledge... took me right past all that.

And it dawned on me... how often I do that.

As a child I was always anxious for that next milestone. I may have been the only Kindergartner asking "When are we going to start getting homework?" No wonder my classmates had issues with me! LOL! But, seriously, I couldn't wait to be older... each milestone reached only meant a renewed hunger for the next one. It's only natural, I suppose. And yet, in the quiet of this night... and in the reflection of a book I should have journaled through rather than sped through... it occurs to me that maybe, just maybe, I need to be more purposeful about being here, in the moment God has me in right now... and less concerned with trying to get to what's next.

The end will come, after all. It's there waiting. I don't really need to miss the journey in trying to get there.