The Speed of Life

"The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is."   C.S. Lewis Ah, Saturday.   The rampaging week skids to a halt and, if we’re lucky, we get to enjoy a few precious moments of tranquility.   As for me, I’m in my happy place–sitting on the back porch, listening to my favorite Pandora station, which right now is playing “Behind Your Eyes” by Jon Foreman.

There were three things I meant to accomplish today, and I don’t know if I’ll do any of them.   I can’t rightly say I even remember what they were.   Right now, I just want to push “pause” for a little while.  I don’t want to clean, organize, answer, find, create, research, decide, learn, purchase, decipher, study or repair anything.  I just want to be for a little while.

So I sit on my back porch, rocking a little while I listen to the music intertwined with the trill of birdsong.  The sun is shining, but oddly it’s raining just a little, which would have amused my dad (rest his soul) and made him proclaim that “the devil is beating his wife.”

Is it okay to do nothing, when there is so much that needs to be done?  It’s hard, here in hurly-burly Northern Virginia, to tune out the constant clamor of striving and achieving and going and doing.   Sometimes I feel like we’re so afraid of falling asleep at the wheel that we never stop to figure out where we were going in the first place.  We’re hurtling towards some far-better future, when the present is right here, asking us to just live in this moment.

No one will accuse me of being an over-achiever, but there are alot of things I want to do.  There are certainly alot of things I ought to be doing.  And yet, right now I feel there is nothing better I can do than watch a big brown rabbit graze the clover, or try to identify a bird song that sounds like “tweedle-deedle-tweedle-deedle-tweedle-deedle-DEET.”  My eyes are enchanted by the sights all around me: my beautiful pink and red geraniums, the ever-changing cloud formations above, and the gentle sway of the tree-tops, moving to their own quiet rhythm.

So if someone hasn’t answered your email yet, or sent you that thing they were supposed to; if they haven’t signed up for your event or commented on your status, cut them some slack.  Maybe they just need some time to be.

And I hope you have time to just be.  Read a book, go for a walk, or stay outside until the fireflies come out and watch them swirl around the night sky.  Let wonderment fill your heart.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

(By the way, if you know what kind of bird goes “tweedle-deedle-tweedle-deedle-tweedle-deedle-DEET,” let me know. But take your time, I’m in no hurry to find out.)

About the Author: I live in Fairfax County, Virginia, supposedly the second-richest county in America, but still home to many people of modest means like me. I am married, with three children, two of whom are young adults and one a sarcastic teenager. My views are informed by my libertarian political beliefs, my compassion for the poor, my eclectic and spotty education, but mostly by my Christian faith, which I came to late in life. I am walking, stumbling and crawling through this life one day, one hour, one minute and sometimes one second at a time, searching for the purpose in what often seems like chaos. May God bless your day or night, wherever you are. Whether you live in a mud hut or a palace, I wish you peace. You can find me on the web at