When You’re Weary of the Rushing​

When I was in high school my dad decided he needed to lose some weight. He was a runner and construction company owner so his body was getting lots of use, but he was gaining weight and didn’t like the spare tire around his midsection. He declared this over dinner one night.

My dad was a man who tackled everything with a plan and this made him successful in all avenues. It was the same for his weight loss goal. He sat and told us he needed to lose twenty pounds and, of course, told us how: he planned to eat slowly and deliberately.

He said he rushed through his meals because his life was too busy. He said he felt like it was an eating contest where he had to inhale the most calories in the least amount of time. I remember blinking dumbly in the bold light of his resolution. But, he slowed his eating and the weight fell off.

The other night I sat at our wooden dinner table and sprinted through my bible study. I was frantic, as though the devil himself were chasing me. I hardly noticed the spaces between the words as I tripped over the commas and semicolons that begged me to slow. I scribbled notes in the column and slammed by bible shut feeling more frantic than when I started.

I sat at the creamy white table, tired hands folded over my maroon bible cover and I felt empty. I felt ready to run and to hide in the business that is Advent. But, instead I laid my weary head atop my knotted fingers and let my mind wander. It started with guilt -sure that He’s disappointed in my race to finish bible study at a breakneck pace. Then conviction -no relationship can subside on scraps of time. Then determination to make a plan that allows me to cultivate intentional slowness with Him.

Because, like my dad’s realization about his rushed eating habits, I am only compromising my own spiritual health in being so hasty about His word. It is my own soul’s hunger that remains ignored and denied. Filling myself with busy-making and crazy work is attempting to subsist on cotton candy alone.

Bible study was never gifted to us with the intention to overwhelm our day’s To Do list. Instead, it is a continual invitation to a soul-filling coffee date. It is a warm latte with frothed milk and vanilla flavor only upstaged by rich, riveting conversation. It is a cozy oversized chair that’s velvet or corduroy that wraps it’s large arms around you like a comforting bear hug. It is a dear friend seated across the small side table across from you, speaking truth -encouraging and lovely- into your life.

Be satisfied, He says. Trade out the responsibility and burden for a slow, blessed quietness. Take a moment and just sit. Yes, sit and be satisfied.