Wait. It's a four letter word.
Have you ever tried to intentionally slow down and savor each minute of a day? Sounds weird. Right? Savoring each minute of the day requires great discipline and a little patience. We have been trained to be busy, effective, and ----- well --- just busy! Everything about the world screams loudly, "Hurry up, get busy, don't stand around, try to do five things at once. Meanwhile, in an attempt to present an active life and one that accomplishes a great deal of work, we get a bit more fragmented and a whole lot less personable. We are turning into mechanical people who hit a switch and just go perform.
Wait. It seems to be a four letter word for us. It does not have to be this way.
Slow down. Exist in the moment. Breath in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Strike up a conversation with someone. Actually enjoy minute by minute living. You'll notice a whole lot of things one can't normally see when flying through life 95 miles an hour. I noticed this sign recently and thought how this store doesn't want to inconvenience their customers. They are willing to open more registers to keep us all happy and flying through life at 95 miles an hour.
(Side note: I was fifth in line and nobody came to open another register. GREAT!!!)
So, with this gift of downtime to use, I observed people. I made eye contact with other shoppers. I talked with another person while we waited. I took time to snap a picture of the sign; it made me chuckle. What if stores made us wait in line? What if they gave tutorials on how to interact with other people? What if they slowed our pace and allowed us the opportunity to breath and enjoy a minute? WE WOULD BE INCENSED!! How dare they steal away precious moments that we could be doing other things and being productive?
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked. He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there.” (Luke 22:7-12, NIV)
Jesus was probably the most sought out person that ever lived on this earth. His teachings, healings, and miracles were magnetic. While divine, his humanness needed times of rest and respite. He chose to go away by himself and pray (Matthew 14:13, Mark 6:46). He made sure his life was not overwhelmed by the screams of a needy and busy world. He never rushed anywhere in any scripture that I am aware. The above text describes Jesus taking time to observe a momentous event in the life of Israel. The Passover was special in that is was a time of giving thanks for God's rescue of the nation out of slavery.
The Seder meal was/is a part of the Passover and was a time to draw close to others and savor each minute. Laughter, gratitude, and remembrance were and still are vital pieces of this observation. Nothing was hurried in this meal. Each moment was offered to God as a way to say 'thank you' for deliverance from oppression.
How do you act when required to wait? Do you get antsy? Do you fume silently? Are you willing to voice your concerns to the store manager? Or, can you appreciate the gift of time given to you? Can you utilize this gift to enhance your relating skills? Will you deal graciously with others and be personable once again? Will you choose to slow down and enjoy the mini-vacation while waiting?
I'll wait to hear your reply to these questions. I might even practice some deep centered breathing while you formulate answers. Breath in through my nose. Hold it. Hold it. Exhale out through my mouth. (Repeat.)