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Slow Down
Photo: Studiomill
There’s an epidemic on the loose, and it is edging in on nearly every household in America. And unless we are aware, I’m not sure there’s any stopping this epidemic. It’s the epidemic of rushing.

Every day, I’m surrounded by the push to rush, rush, rush. The entire world seems obsessed with being in a hurry, and with getting everyone to hurry with it. Schedules are packed with going and doing so that there’s no time to breathe. Maybe we have been busy for so long that we don’t know what to do with ourselves when we’re are not. But I wonder if we realize how much we miss by not making it a point to just slow down.

Being too busy and rushing too much is destructive to the cornerstones of our lives. We end up substituting quantity for quality—in relationships and in accomplishments.

Being too busy is robbing us of authenticity, of real relationships with our family and our spouses. We’re so busy that we try to substitute really taking time to know God with staying more than busy with the church and doing good.

Look and Listen

A few years ago, I made a promise to myself that I would make slowing down a priority. I promised that at least once a year I would sit down and evaluate my to-do list, my commitments and the quality of the time I was investing in the people in my life. I promised that I would make a point to keep open blocks of time in my schedule on a regular basis and that I wouldn’t fill them with a to-do list or another goal. This was time to just be quiet, to look and to listen. It hasn’t always been easy to stick with it, but the benefits have been well worth it!

By slowing down a little bit, I feel like I have increased the quality of my life significantly. I haven’t been to every event, and I’ve said “not this time” a few more times than I use to.

But I’ve spent real time with my family and my friends, really listening and focusing on their needs. I’ve cultivated more real relationships. I’ve read more books. I’ve tried new things. I’ve prayed more. I’ve taken time out to watch the sunrise and to play in the creek with the kids. I’ve been able to think more about what is important to me.

So I’m challenging you. Stop rushing through life. Make time for just being quiet.

Get beyond the superficial and get to know the hearts of your family and friends again. Take time to just be still and quiet and hear the birds for a little while. Don’t miss out on all the little, good, rich things of life by being too busy to notice them. Just take a little time to slow down.

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By Chantel Brankshire. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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