Unless there’s an emergency. Hurry is allowed then.
I spent last week in the company of great writers at the Florida Christian Writers Conference (you can head over here if you want to know why I go to writers conferences).
Our keynote speaker was Robert Benson who can talk eucharist and Yankee baseball in the same sentence. My only quandary after hearing him speak is which book to read first. I’m leaning toward Living Prayer because a review says Benson “makes the ordinary events of life seem mystical and the mystical seem ordinary.” Which is the consistent cry of my heart and probably why I was moved hearing this man speak about life and art and writing and Jesus.
“Hurry,” he chastised softly one morning, “is no posture for a writer.”
Everyday I get out of bed and stumble over to the preset coffee maker and pour a cup. I nestle into a corner of our couch and I study and pray and journal. Sometimes I blog or read or socialize with others awake in the dim light of dawn.
Then my kids wake up and rush, rush, rush and hurry, hurry, hurry become my mantra. Somewhere between the turning over of the clock from 6:29 to 6:30 my slow easy morning becomes a winded sprint and there’s yelling and fussing and so much stress.
Hurry is no posture for a mother either.
When I hurry–when I push and prod and pull my kids through our morning routine–I set a tone for the rest of our day. I wake them with the notion that we are already behind and we must rush to catch up.
What if instead I woke them with the notion that we have a whole day of discovering God’s goodness upon us? What if I saw the morning as a filter through which the rest of our moments, our comings and goings, sifted through? What if instead of posturing hurry, I postured slow?
Sometimes I let them sleep in until almost seven. I make pancakes or oatmeal and hot tea for little sore throats. I pack up my computer so it’s not taken out until my work day has resumed and I listen when they chatter and I smile when they laugh.
I promise not to yell.
We load the banged-up minivan and we run through the day on the short drive to school without actually having to run.
And the only difference between when we get to school on these days and when we get to school on others is me.
My actions didn’t change. Lunches still got packed. Shoes still got lost and then found. Breakfast dishes were left on the table and the cat might have been left in the house.
But my attitude said slow down. Savor. Sip. Stow away the goodness and the glory in the mess and the broken.
Hurry, my friends, is no posture for anyone.
Slow down. Look around. Catch your breath.
You’ll get there no matter the route you take. But the difference will be in the journey.